The Tallest Man RoBERT WADLOW
Robert was the first born of Addie and Harold Wadlow. Later the Wadlow family grew with the addition of two sisters, Helen and Betty, and two brothers, Eugene and Harold Jr. Despite Robert's size, all of his family members were of normal height and weight.
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 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.
At 5 years of age, attending kindergarten, Robert was 5' 6 1/2" tall. He wore clothes that would fit a 17 year old boy. Ten years old. Robert weighed 210 pounds and was 6' 5" tall. His shoes were size 17 1/2.
With boyscouttroup - 1931?Photo courtesy of R. O'Brian At the age of 13, and a member of the Boy Scouts, he was the largest Boy Scout in the world. His weight was 270 pounds, and his height was 7' 4". It took 14 yards of 36" wide material to make his Boy Scout uniform.
At age 18, he had reached eight feet, four inches tall, and weighed 390 pounds. His clothing required three times the normal amount of cloth, and his size 37 shoes cost $100.00 a pair (a lot of money back in the 1930's). Two years later his shoes were provided free by the International Shoe Company
When he turned 20 Robert traveled for the shoe company, visiting over 800 towns and 41 states. His father had to modify the family car, removing the front passenger seat so Robert could sit in the back seat and stretch out his long legs. The father and son team traveled over 300,000 miles on their goodwill tour for the shoe company.
Robert's unique size was attributed to an over active pituary gland, which produced much higher than normal levels of growth hormone. Today's medical science can compensate for such problems - but in the 1920s there was no therapy available. Gland Problem?
Robert preparing to enter his car, which had the front seat removed to allow for additional legroom.
As a youth, Robert had enjoyed good health, but his large feet had troubled him for many years. He had little sensation in his feet and did not feel any chafing until blisters formed. While making an appearance in Manistee, Michigan in July 1940, a fatal infection set in when such a blister formed. On July 4th, doctors had Robert confined to a hotel bed, unable to find suitable accommodations at the local hospital. Days later, after emergency surgery and blood transfusions, the infection lingered and his temperature continued to rise. At 1:30 a.m., on the 15th of July, Robert Wadlow passed away in his sleep. Problems