- Alive, or believed to be alive.
Green name - Tallest living person at one point from 1900 onwards.
The Tallest Man
Robert Wadlow - The Tallest Man ever
Robert Pershing Wadlow (February 22, 1918 – July 15, 1940) was a man who, to this day, is the tallest person in medical history for whom there is irrefutable evidence. He is often known as the "Alton Giant" because of his Alton, Illinois hometown. Robert Wadlow reached 8 feet 11.1 inches (272 cm) in height and weighed 490 pounds (220 kg) at his death. His great size and his continued growth in adulthood was due to hypertrophy of his pituitary gland which results in an abnormally high level of human growth hormone. He showed no indication of an end to his growth even at the time of his death. Read more about Robert Wadlow...
Zeng Jinlian - The Tallest Woman ever
Zeng Jinlian (June 26, 1964 – February 13, 1982) was the tallest female ever recorded in medical history, taking Jane Bunford's record. Zeng Jinlian is also the only female counted among the 14 individuals in medical history who reached a verified eight feet or more. At the time of her death at the age of 17 she was 8 feet 1.75 inches (248.3 cm) tall. However, she could not stand up straight due to a severely deformed spine. Read more about Zeng Jinlian...
Sultan Kosen - The Tallest Man alive
The tallest living man officially measured by Guinness World Records (Guinness Book of Records) is Sultan Kosen from Turkey, with a height of 8 feet 3 inches (251.4 cm) tall. Sultan Kosen was last measured in February 2011 and found to still be growing. Read more about Sultan Kosen...
Yao Defen - The Tallest Woman alive(?)
The tallest living woman is Yao Defen, who is 7 feet 8 inches (233.7 cm) tall. Yao Defen weighs 200 kg (440 lbs) and has size 57 (EU) (around 20 US) feet. Her gigantism is due to a tumor in her pituitary gland. Read more about Yao Defen...
However, others have claimed to be even taller. People of extreme height have always been exaggerating their true height. In history many giants have claimed to be the tallest man alive, or even the tallest man ever. Some of the circus, sideshow and freakshow giants did not allow themselves to be measured. TheTallestMan.com tries to give you the truth about the tallest people who ever lived and build a community for Giant enthusiasts as well as a online meeting place for collectors of postcards, photos, newspaper clippings, videos, shoes, films and other memorabilia of giants from the past and present.
If you are interested in discussions about giants, extremely tall people, related subjects like acromegaly and gigantism and would like to share your own opinion why not join our
The Tallest Man message board and join in!
Guinness World Records is the universally recognized authority on record-breaking achievement. First published in 1955, the annual Guinness World Records book is published in more than 100 countries and 25 languages and is one of the highest-selling books under copyright of all time with more than 3 million copies sold annually across the globe. Guinness World Records celebrated its 50th anniversary edition in 2004, a year after the sale of its 100 millionth copy. But does this mean that they always get it right?
When Norris and Ross McWhirter were involved with the book the record for The Tallest Man in the world was an important record with a the first few pages of any edition dedicated to it. Since the late 80's the Tallest Man record seems just one of the many records, with only one or two lines devoted to it. Maybe this will change, now they have found a new tall flagship in Sultan Kosen and they will regard the record of the tallest man in the world as the mother of all records once again.
Pituitary gigantism due to growth hormone excess is the single condition which accounts for nearly all cases of pathologic extreme height. The excess growth hormone usually results from oversecretion by a group of somatotrope cells of the anterior pituitary gland (termed a "somatotrope adenoma"). These cells do not respond to normal controls of growth or function. They grow very slowly, so that for many years the only effects of such an adenoma are the effects of excessive growth hormone. Read more about Pituitary gigantism.
The primary effect of growth hormone excess in childhood is excessive growth, but the tallness is accompanied by a characteristic body build recognizable to an endocrinologist. The typical body build involves heavy, thick bones, with large hands and feet and a heavy jaw. Once puberty is complete and adult height is achieved, continued thickening of the skin and growth of the jaw results in a combination of features referred to as acromegaly. Unfortunately, over decades such an adenoma may reach a large enough size (2 cm or more in diameter) to cause headaches, impair vision, or damage other pituitary functions. Read more about Acromegaly.
Hypogonadism is the condition of deficiency of sex hormones due to reduced function of the testes or ovaries at adolescence. When secretion of testosterone or estradiol remains below average throughout the teenage years, a taller adult height will be gradually achieved by extra growth of the arms and legs. This long-limbed tallness is termed "eunuchoid" tallness, but rarely adds more than 1-3 inches (2.5-7.5 cm) to adult height. The extra growth is prevented if the child is given appropriate replacement of testosterone or estrogen from early adolescence. Read more about Eunuchoid tallness.
A very rare but more extreme version of "eunuchoid" tallness is called eunuchoidal-infantile gigantism and occurs when a mutation of the estrogen receptor reduces the response of the bones to estradiol. Estradiol is a byproduct of testosterone in both males and females and is the most potent accelerator of bone maturation and closure known. If a person fails to respond to estrogen, growth can continue until late 20's or longer, and the affected person can reach 8 feet or more in height. Estrogen resistance is the only other endocrine condition that can rival growth hormone excess in producing gigantism. Eunuchoidal-infantile gigantism is more commonly known as daddy-longlegs syndrome. In contrast, the tallness associated with the more common androgen insensitivity syndrome averages only a few inches. Read more about Eunuchoidal-infantile gigantism.
Marfan syndrome is an uncommon genetic disease due to an inherited defect of connective tissue. In addition to moderate tallness, persons with this condition usually have a slender body build with unusually long fingers (arachnodactyly). Many can also develop a dislocaton of the lens of the eye or, more seriously, a progressive deterioration of the walls of the aorta which can result in sudden death in adulthood. It is usually inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. Read more about Marfan syndrome.
Sotos syndrome resembles acromegaly in its mild distortion of facial growth. In addition to tallness, the chief characteristics are large head size, below average intelligence, and autosomal dominant inheritance. Read more about Sotos syndrome.