A Short Documentary About Robert Wadlow – The World’s Tallest Man


Robert Pershing Wadlow (1918 -1940) was a person who, to this moment, is the tallest person in medical record for whom there is indisputable proof. Robert Wadlow is also known as the Giant of Illinois or Alton Giant for the reason that he was born, cultured and buried in Alton, Illinois.

Wadlow attained 8 feet 11.1 inches in height and 490 pounds in weight at his death. His huge size and his sustained growth was caused by hyperactivity of his pituitary gland which produced much higher than normal levels of human growth hormone. There was no sign of stop to his growth even at his death time. Today’s medical science can recompense for such problems – but in the 1920s there was no cure available.

Robert Wadlow was the first child of Harold and Addie Wadlow. Afterward the Wadlow family extended with the count of four siblings, Betty and Helen, Harold and Eugene regardless of Robert’s size, each member of his family was of normal weight and height.

In spite of the immense challenge, Robert made attempts to sustain a normal childhood. He collected matchbooks and stamps, enjoyed photography, and linked with the Boy Scouts, and becoming the tallest youngster Scout in the world at the age of 13 years. He was also considered as being very silent, getting him the nickname “Gentle Giant.”

At age eighteen, his height was 8 feet, 4 inches. His garments needed thrice the normal amount of fabric, and his size 37 shoes price $ 100 a pair (very expensive back in the 1930’s).

At the age of twenty Robert Wadlow signed a deal with the worldwide Shoe Company; he got free shoes in swap for a promotional trip. His father had to change his car, removing the front seat so Robert could sit easily in the car. The father and son team traveled around 300,000 miles for the shoe company.

In 1936 he registered in Shurtleff College with the purpose of doing law. He made his position in the history books when he surpassed 8 feet, 4 inches in 1937, exceeding the record earlier detained by an Irishman who passed away in 1877.

In early stages, Robert had enjoyed fitness, but his large feet had distressed him several time. He had slight sensation in his feet. On July 1940 Wadlow was unwell in Manistee, Michigan; a defective brace had caused a blister and awful infection. Later on, after emergency operation and blood transfusions, the infection remained and his fever continued to increase. On the 15th of July, at 1:30 a.m., Robert Wadlow expired in his sleep.

In 1984 a citizens committee made efforts to commemorate Robert, and in 1985 a statue of bronze was raised in his remembrance.

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