How tall is the tallest person in the world?

How tall is the tallest person in the world? Robert Pershing Wadlow holds the title of tallest person in the world in all chronological periods. Robert’s height was 8ft. 11in. and weight was 439 lbs. He has also earned the title of the person with the giant hands and feet.

Birth of Robert Wadlow

In 1918, Robert Wadlow was born at 6:30 a.m. on February 22, in Illinois, the United States, in the city of Alton. His weight was 8 lbs.6 oz at the time of birth, and he was born at an average height. Robert was the oldest among his siblings. He had a modest, cordial, devout, and tall personality. The Alton Giant and the Giant of Illinois are two titles for Robert Wadlow.

Middle name of Robert Wadlow

Robert’s middle name was Pershing, after General John J. Pershing, who supervised the fighting in Europe during World War I.

Other features of Robert Wadlow

The features are as follows:

Features: Description:
Color of hair Black
Shape of the face Oval
Nose shape Pointed
Lips shape Full-wide
Sexual orientation Straight
Color of eye Dark brown

Pituitary Gigantism

The cause of Robert Wadlow’s large stature was Hyperplasia of the Pituitary Gland (Pituitary Gigantism). This disorder causes the human growth hormone to rise abnormally, resulting in abnormal height till death.


  • Hyperplasia in the pituitary gland was the cause of Robert’s tall height.

Robert Wadlow Schooling

Robert was born with average height but began growing at two, shortly after his double hernia operation. He joined kindergarten at 5’4", and even at this age, he had to wear clothes made for teenagers. He was taller than his father at the age of eight. At this age, Robert gained his first mention In Alton Telegraph. When he was nine years old, Wadlow was 180 pounds and 6 feet 2.5 inches tall. He could lift his father the stairs at this age. Robert used to dress in clothing intended for a 17-year-old child. He attended the elementary school in Roxana. Robert used to sit at a custom-made desk.

Robert Wadlow at a soft drink stand

When he was a teenager, he and his siblings opened a soft drink stand in their front yard. People frequently came to see Robert. One summer, they earned more than $100.

Robert Wadlow as a Boy Scout

Robert was the tallest Boy scout and was a member of Troop 1 at the age of 13. At that time, Robert used to wear a special uniform, sleeping bag, and tent. When he completed his high education at Alton High School, he was 8ft. 4 inches.

Robert Wadlow at Shurtleff College

After graduation in 1936, Wadlow studied law at Shurtleff College. But unfortunately, his increasing height becomes a hurdle to getting further education.

Hobbies of Robert Wadlow

Robert was fond of reading adventurous stories and had read 300 books per year. His hobbies were collecting stamps, matchbooks, rocks, photography, and playing Guitar. But due to his huge hands could not enjoy these hobbies anymore.


Hobbies of Robert were:

  • Reading adventurous stories.
  • Stamp, Rocks, and Matchbook collection.
  • Photography.
  • Playing Guitar.

Favorite food of Robert Wadlow

Robert Wadlow was fond of eating ice cream.

Breakfast of Robert Wadlow

Due to Robert’s height, he needed a lot of food. His breakfast consisted of the following:
1.12 slices of bread.
2. Eight eggs.
3. Five cups of coffee.
4. Many glasses of orange juice.
5. A lot of cereal.

Height Chart of Robert Wadlow

The growth chart is as follows:

AGE Birth 6 mos. 1 yrs. 1.5 yrs. 5 yrs. 8 yrs. 9 yrs. 10 yrs. 12 yrs. 14 yrs. 16 yrs. 18 yrs. 20 yrs. 21 yrs. 22.4 yrs.
LENGTH N/R N/R N/R N/R 5’4" 6’ 6’2" 6’5" 6’11" 7’5" 7’10" 8’4" 8’7" 8’8" 8’11.1"
MASS(lbs) 8.5 30 45 67 105 169 180 210 241 301 374 391 488 492 439

The Lawsuit against Dr.Charles Humberd

In 1936, a doctor named Dr. Charles Humberd visited Robert. Robert mentioned that Humberd was a very rude doctor and declined Humberd’s offer to examine him. Humberd belittled Robert in the Journal of the American Medical Association in revenge. According to JAMA, Robert was bad-tempered, unresponsive, unsympathetic, and lifeless. As a result, Wadlow decided to sue a $100.000 lawsuit against Humberd for all these insulting remarks. Many people supported Robert in court, but unfortunately, Robert lost the case. But Robert later that year brought another case, this time against Time. The Wadlow family claims that a piece in the magazine exposed the renowned giant to ridicule and dishonor. The judge dismissed the case at Time’s request.

Celerity Career of Robert Wadlow

In 1935, Robert became the Advertising Manager of Tatler. Robert met the Ringling Brothers and became a celebrity. In 1936 in the USA, he joined the Ringling Brothers Circus. Robert Wadlow worked in the center ring at Madison Square Garden and Boston Garden. Due to his height, he weighed 400 pounds at age 20. Robert earned the nickname Gentle Giant for his gentleness. Robert also used to appear for businesses at River Bend.

Robert’s Partnership with INTERCO

At the age of 22, Robert wore a made-to-measure shoe size which was getting too expensive for him to pay. He visited the International Shoe Company(presently called INTERCO). The man entered into a partnership with the International Shoe Company, which would provide him with free custom-made shoes in size 37AA for the rest of his life in exchange for representational work around the United States. Robert traveled more than 300,000 miles, making stops in more than 800 cities across 41 states to promote the company’s shoes.

Membership of Order of DeMolay

Robert became a member of a Masonic-sponsored organization named Order Of DeMolay. He later became a Freemason. In 1939, Wadlow became Master Mason. He was the one with the giant Freemason ring.

Robert Wadlow as a Tallest man

One year before his death, Robert became the tallest man at that Time by breaking the record of John Rogan.

Celebrity Career of Robert Wadlow

Challenges faced by Robert Wadlow

Robert Wadlow faced many challenges:

  • Due to his increasing height, made-to-measure shoes were getting expensive for him to buy.
  • His father had to change their car to make it comfortable, removing the front passenger seat.
  • He had to withdraw his hobbies due to his increasing height.
  • His clothes required three times the amount of fabric as regular items.
  • His fellows at school mocked him. They named him Lemonade Stand.
  • He couldn’t participate in the basketball game as no special basketball shoes were available in the market.
  • He had to use leg braces and a cane to walk.
  • Multiple beds were joined together to fit his height.
  • He faced a lot of mobility issues due to numbness in his legs and feet.
  • Robert sometimes had to sit in the back row at the cinema. He gained a unique seat at the theatre in Alton. He took up five chairs: one to sit on, one for each arm (left and right), and two more seats in front of him for his extended legs.
  • At the age of 10, his feet were blue-colored due to poor blood circulation.

Death of Robert Wadlow

In 1940, when Robert was attending Manistee National Forest Festival, a brace bothered Wadlow’s ankle, leading to a blister and severe parasitic infection. Doctors performed surgery and blood transfusion to treat the disease, but the condition worsened due to an autoimmune disorder. On July 15, 1940, he passed away while sleeping at 1:30 a.m. at 22. When he passed away, he was 439 lb (199 kg) and 8 ft 11.1 in (2.72 m) tall. His popularity was commensurate with his size.

Robert Wadlow’s ■■■■■■■

During his burial, many people came to meditate at his grave. His body lay to rest in a magnificent casket that measured 10ft 9 in. and weighed 1,000 pounds. The casket weighed around a thousand pounds, and they needed six or eight more men to assist them as they moved it to the burial place. The body was kept at Streeper ■■■■■■■ Home, open to the public for two days and nights straight, with lines stretching over three blocks. Businesses in Alton were all closed for the ■■■■■■■, and there were reportedly license plates from over 36 states.

Number of people at Robert’s ■■■■■■■

According to estimates, 33,295 individuals visited Robert’s body or the burial. According to Mr. Streeper, the ■■■■■■■ home’s director, the carpet needed to remove because the volume of visits had worn it out. His burial took place at the Oakwood Cemetery in Madison County.

Robert Wadlow’s Legacy

The life-size bronze statue of Robert Wadlow was built in his hometown in 1985, eternally marking the Alton Giant. The Guinness Museum, Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, and Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum all had Gentle Giant statues on display in Michigan. In 1998, the Handsome Family honored Robert Wadlow with the title of “The Giant of Illinois.” Later in 2005, famous songwriter Sufjan Stevens recorded his song “Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders.” The tallest man has also earned a name in the Guinness World Records documents. In 2018, St.Louis Public Radio printed a story on his life on his 100th death anniversary.

Alton Museum of History and Robert Wadlow

Robert Wadlow’s leftovers are on exhibit At the Alton Museum Of History. These include:

  1. Photographs of Robert.
  2. Pair of shoes.
  3. School desk of third grade.
  4. Graduation cap and coat of Robert.
  5. Masonic ring

Documentaries on Robert Wadlow

The documentaries are as follows:

No. Documentary Name
1. Size Matters(2018).
2. History’s Mysteries.
3. Extraordinary People.
4. Extreme Bodies.
5. Extraordinary Humans: Gigantism
6. Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few questions about How tall is the tallest person in the world:

1. When did Robert cast his first vote?

When he was 21 years old, he cast his first vote in an election in 1939. He had to squat to enter the voting booth, and his head and shoulders protruded over the top.

2. When did Wadlow meet Primo Carnera?

He met heavyweight boxing champion Primo Carnera when he was 11 years old.

3. When Robert got himself checked for the first time?

He went to Barnes Hospital for his first checkup just before turning 12 years old. His family discovered an overactive pituitary gland caused the growth at that point.

4. Mention the names of local towns Robert visited in Missouri.

In Missouri, Robert visited:

  • St. Charles.
  • De Soto.
  • Poplar Bluff.
  • Washington.
  • Perryville.
  • Sullivan.
  • St. Clair.
  • Louisiana.

5. Mention the names of local towns Robert visited in Illinois.

In Illinois, Robert visited:

  • Columbia.
  • Highland.
  • Lebanon.
  • East St. Louis.
  • Waterloo.
  • Belleville.
  • Edwardsville.
  • Wood River.
  • O’Fallon.
  • Collinsville.
  • Millstadt.

6. When was Wadlow’s shoe brought to Antiques Roadshow?

A Wadlow shoe was presented in “Antiques Roadshow” in 2013 and auctioned for $1,500-$2,500.

7. What was the ring, feet, and hand size of Robert Wadlow?

Robert’s Freemasonic ring size was 25. The feet size of Robert Wadlow was 18.5 inches, and that of his hand was 12.75 inches.

8. How many siblings did Robert Wadlow have?

There were four siblings of Robert Wadlow:

  • Two brothers.
  • Two sisters.

9. What were the names of Robert’s siblings?

The names of Robert Wadlow were:

  • Helen.
  • Betty Jean.
  • Eugene Harold.
  • Harold Jr.

10. Mention the names of Robert Wadlow’s parents.

Robert was born to:

  • Harold Franklin Wadlow.
  • Addie Johson.

11. What was the birth star of Robert Wadlow?

Pisces was the birth star of Robert Wadlow.

12. What was the death place of Robert Wadlow?

Robert Wadlow died in Manistee, United States.

13. Mention the nationality and religion of Robert Wadlow.

Robert Wadlow was a British American and a believer in Christianity.

14. What was the production cost of Robert’s shoes?

Per pair, the cost was $100, equivalent to $2,000 in the present day.

15. What was Robert Wadlow’s calorie intake?

The calorie intake was 6,000 to 8,000 per day.

16. How many scores did Robert score on the IQ test?

On an IQ test, he scored 124, which was above average in the 1920s.


Robert Wadlow:
  • Holds the title of the tallest person in the world.
  • In 1918, he was born at 6:30 a.m. on February 22, in Illinois, the United States, in the city of Alton.
  • Robert’s height was 8ft. 11in., and weight was 439 lbs.
  • Was the oldest among his siblings.
  • Had a modest, cordial, devout, and tall personality.
  • On July 15, 1940, he passed away while sleeping at 1:30 a.m. at 22.
  • Referred to as the Alton Giant and the Giant of Illinois.

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