Robert Wadlow was the tallest man at 8' 11

Saturday, November 24 2018MyCaribbeanRadio

The man known as the "gentle giant" was born on February 22, 1918 and weighed in at the normal 8.7lbs was and parents Harold and Addie Wadlow of Alton, Illinois were as joyful for him as with their previous kids. However by the time of his first birthday, they realized something was very different when he grew to 3' 3". By age 8 he was taller than his dad at 6' 4", then in 3 years he exceeded 7 feet.

His excessive growth was not genetic but caused by a hyperactive pituitary gland which the doctors had no means of taming. Unfortunately for Wadlow, his extreme height did not provide any advantage in life, in fact it was a burden and a massive medical expenditure. He needed specially designed clothing and shoes and could not enter many homes with standard ceiling height, and was quite awkward to enter any building.

Wadlow died at age 22 on July 15, 1940 due to an infection of a sore on his ankle. Robert's body was buried in a 1,000lb casket which was carried by a 20 people. A life-sized bronze statue honoring him still stands in Alton.

Robert with his family in 1939

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