Robert Wadlow, was known as the Alton Giant, or the Giant of Illinois, and Bob, was an American who became famous as the tallest person in recorded history for which there is irrefutable evidence. He was born and raised in Alton, Illinois.
Wadlow reached 8' 11.1" in height and was 439 lbs when he died, at the age of only 22. His growth continued into adulthood and showed no signs of stopping. His height was due to, hyperplasia; of his pituitary gland, which results in an abnormally high level of human growth hormone.
Not only was he the world's largest boy scout, but he still holds the Guinness Book World record for being the tallest man. He was taller than his father by the age of 8, and in elementary school, they had to make a special desk for him due to his size. As an adult, he was a member of the Freemasons and his Freemason ring was the largest ever made.
Wadlow became a celebrity after his 1936 U.S. tour with the Ringling Brothers Circus. He appeared with Ringling Brothers at Madison Square Garden and the Boston Garden in the center ring, never in the sideshow. In 1938, he did a promotional tour with the International Shoe Company. They provided him his shoes free of charge. Wadlow figured that he was working in advertising, not being exhibited as a freak.
Wadlow's massive size began to take a toll: he required leg braces to walk and had little feeling in his legs and feet. Despite these difficulties, he never used a wheelchair. He possessed great physical strength but was known as a “gentle giant” until the last year of his life, when his strength and his health, in general, began to deteriorate rapidly. In July of 1940, during a professional appearance at a Forest Festival, a faulty brace irritated his ankle, causing a blister and subsequent infection. his condition worsened due to an autoimmune disorder, and 11 days after contracting the infection, he died.
His coffin measured 10' 9" long by 2' 8" wide by 2' 6" deep, weighed 1000 lbs and was carried by 12 pallbearers and eight assistants. Setting on final record, for the world's largest coffin His body was buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Upper Alton.
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