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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tallest Man in History

Robert Pershing Wadlow was born, educated and buried in Alton, Illinois. His height of 8' 11.1" qualifies him as the tallest person in history, as recorded in the Guinness Book of Records. At the time of his death at age 22, he weighed 490 pounds.

Robert was born on February 22, 1918, and weighed a normal eight pounds, six ounces. He drew attention to himself when at six months old, he weighed 30 pounds. A year later at 18 months, he weighed 62 pounds. He continued to grow at an astounding rate, reaching six feet, two inches and 195 pounds by the time he was eight years old.
Robert Pershing Wadlow, at age 13 stands with his father, Harold. Harold is 5 feet, 11 inches tall. Robert stands 7 feet, 4 inches.

On July 4, 1940, while making a professional appearance at the Manistee National Forest Festival, a faulty brace irritated his ankle, causing a blister and subsequent infection. Doctors treated him with a blood transfusion and emergency surgery, but his condition worsened and on July 15, 1940, he died in his sleep at age 22.

An estimated 40,000 people attended Wadlow's funeral on July 19. He was buried in a 10-foot-long (3.0 m), half-ton coffin that required twelve pallbearers to carry and was interred in a vault of solid concrete. It was believed that Wadlow's family members were concerned for the sanctity of his body after his death, and wanted to ensure it would not be disturbed or stolen.

May 1936, Robert Wadlow at 18 years old with his mother and (half of) brother Harold Jr.


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