Robert Wadlow was born in Alton, Illinois, in 1918. He was born the size of a normal baby, at eight pounds and six ounces. But he quickly grew into a large child, weighing 30 pounds at only six months old. By the time he was 18 months old, he weighed 62 pounds!
By the time he was 8 years old, he weighed 195 pounds and was already over six feet tall. This pattern continued, up until he died. He was so tall, in fact, that he joined the Ringling Brothers’ Circus as the tallest man in the world at over eight feet tall.
His parents couldn’t understand what was happening to their child, until the doctors realized that he had an over-abundance of human growth hormone called hyperplasia, a problem with the pituitary gland. Throughout his life, his height did cause him some health problems and he even had to wear leg braces. Thankfully he was never forced to be in a wheelchair.
In 1937, Robert sadly died, standing at 8’11”. His cause of death was an infection. So far in history, there has been no one to break this record of height. When the doctors did his autopsy, they were absolutely blown away when they found out that he was actually still growing! If he had not died so early, he would have been even taller! How crazy!
For Robert’s funeral, his casket weighed a total of 1,000 pounds. It took 12 pallbearers with 8 assistants to carry the casket. Back where he was born in Alton, IL, they made a place to honor his memory with a statue.
Check out this video about him below!