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Overview (5)

Born in Alton, Illinois, USA
Died in Manistee, Michigan, USA  (infection of left ankle)
Birth NameRobert Pershing Wadlow
Nicknames The Gentle Giant
The tallest man who ever lived
The Gentleman Giant
The Boy Giant
The Alton Giant
The Illinois Giant
Height 8' 11" (2.72 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Robert Pershing Wadlow was born on February 22, 1918 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. Robert was the first born of Addie and Harold Wadlow. He had two sisters, Helen and Betty, and two brothers, Eugene and Harold Jr., all of whom were of average height and weight. His excessive height was due to an overactive pituitary gland, for which there was no treatment at the time. According to records kept in his hometown of Alton, Robert enjoyed collecting stamps, photography, and the Boy Scouts, becoming the world's tallest Boy Scout when he was 13 years old. He was also regarded as being very quiet, earning him the nickname "Gentle Giant." When he turned 20 Robert traveled for the International Shoe Company, who provided him with free shoes (which usually cost $100 a pair). His father had to remove the front passenger seat of the family car so Robert could sit in the back seat. Due to poor circulation, Robert had little sensation in his feet and did not notice when problems like blisters developed. In July of 1940 a blister on his ankle led to an infection that, despite treatment, ended his life on the morning of July 15th. Robert was buried in his hometown of Alton. All city businesses closed for the funeral, which was attended by tens of thousands of people. The 1,000-pound casket required 12 pallbearers. In 1985 a life-sized bronze statue of Robert was erected on the campus of the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Amy B

Trivia (9)

The world's tallest man.
The world's tallest boy scout at 7' 4" and 270 lbs when he was 13 years old.
He had a daily calorie intake of 6,000-8,000.
At the age of 9 (height 6' 2 1/2", weight 180 lbs) he was strong enough to carry his 5'11" 170 lb father up the stairs to the second floor.
Weighed a normal 8 lbs 5 oz at birth.
His peak measured weight of 491 lbs on his 21st birthday, he was 439 lbs at death; his hands measured 12 3/4" (wore size 25 ring), his feet 18 1/2" (shoe size 37AA), and his arm span was 9'5 1/2".
Was still steadily growing at the time of his death.
As a pupil he was tested as having an above average IQ of 134. After graduating high school he enrolled at Shurtleff College intending to study law, but dropped out due to complications stemming from his great size.
The son of Harold Franklin Wadlow (1892 - 1969) and Addie May (née Johnson) Wadlow (1897 - 1980); the eldest brother of Eugene Harold Wadlow (1922 - 1959), Betty Jean (née Wadlow) Brda (1924 - 1980), Helen Wadlow, and Harold Franklin Wadlow Jr. (1932 - 2000).

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