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Robert Pershing Wadlow – The Tallest Man in History
He was born on February 22, 1918 in Alton, Illinois (USA). He was the first of five children born to his parents, Harold and Addie Wadlow. They then had two more boys and two girls. Amazingly, her siblings were only normal height and weight. Robert’s own weight at birth was nothing out of the ordinary at 3.85 kg (8 lb 8 oz). In fact, for the first two years of his life, his growth rate was normal. When he reached the age of two, he had to have a double hernia operation. It’s impossible to say if there was a connection to this, but since then things have started to change drastically.
Its growth rate has increased remarkably. At the age of 5, he reached a height of 1.63 meters (5 feet 4 inches) and he grew to 6 feet tall when he was only 8 years old. Over the next 4 years, he grew an average of 2.5 inches per year until he was 12 years old, when his height reached 2.10 meters (6 ft 10.5 in).
Over the next 3 years, its growth rate accelerated further. He grew another 24 cm (9.5 in) taller, so that he was 2.34 meters (7 ft 8 in) tall when he was 15 years old. For the next 2 years, its growth rate slowed slightly to just over 2 inches per year. When he was 17, he was 2.45 meters (8 feet 0.38 inches) tall, but he just couldn’t stop growing.
The following year it grew another 8 cm (just over 3 inches), but only 2 inches the following year. He was now 19 years old and his height was 2.58 meters (8 feet 5.5 inches).
Over the next 2 years, his growth rate decreased to his slowest rate for a while, but he still grew. In his late teens, his height reached 2.61 meters (8 ft 6.75 in). He was 2.65 meters (8 feet 8.25 inches) tall when he was 21 years old. His last recorded measurement was 2.72 meters (8 ft 11.1 in) at the age of 22 years and 5 months.
As you can imagine, he couldn’t walk around in public without attracting attention. People inevitably stared at him and crowds gathered around him. Some people, quite viciously, kicked or pinched his legs to check that he was not on stilts.
His extreme size obviously made life difficult for him. He couldn’t function like normal sized people. He couldn’t get on a bus, train or plane. The seats were only designed for people who were 6 feet or under. He was in good health regardless, but he suffered from circulation problems in his legs and did not have much feeling in his feet.
He was not only the tallest man of all time, but he also had the biggest hands and feet of all time. His shoes had to be specially made, as were his clothes. Her shoe size was 36 (37AA for US measurements), they were 47cm (18.5 inches) long.
Human growth is caused by a hormone called “somatotropin”, the source of which is provided by the “pituitary gland”. When he was 12, doctors found that this gland had become overactive, causing him to grow abnormally. Her parents were told corrective surgery would be risky with no guarantee of success, so they decided against it.
Robert sadly passed away in his sleep on July 15, 1940. He was buried in his hometown. His coffin was 3.28 meters (10 feet 9 inches) long and had to be carried by 12 men. The city closed out of respect, and more than 40,000 people signed the register at his funeral.
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