Robert Pershing Wadlow (1918-1940) was the tallest human on record. Before his death, in 1940, he reached the height of 8 ft 11.1 in, and weighed almost 490lbs.

Wadlow was born in Alton, Illinois on Februaru 22, 1928 to parents Harold Franklin Wadlow and Addie Johnson. At birth he weighed 8' 6 oz (3.8 kg). He began to get attention, due to his rapid growth, when all his four siblings grew at a normal speed. By the time Wadlow as 13 years-old he became the world's tallest Boy Scout with the height of 7'4.

When Wadlow turned 20 he signed a contract with the International Shoe Company; he received free shoes in exchange for a promotional tour. Wadlow traveled around the USA with his father Harold. In the year 1936 he enrolled in Shurtleff College with the intention of studying law.

In 1937 he had exceeded the previous records. However, his size begun to take its toll on his life. He had to keep braces in his feet to walk, and had little sensation in them.


On July 5, 1940 Robert Wadlow got ill in Manistee, Michigan; a faulty brace had caused a blister and bad infection. Doctors treated Wadlow, with a blood transfusion and emergency surgery, but his fever got worse. On July 15, 1940 he died in his sleep. He was buried in Alton on the 19 of July.

In 1984 his hometown of Alton raised a bronze statue in his memory. His family destroyed his belongings lest they become collectables.

Growth ChartEdit

Age Height
8 6ft (182 cm)
10 6ft 6in (198 cm) 220 pounds (100 kg)
14 7ft 4in (224cm)
16 7ft 10.5in (240 cm) 365 pounds (166kg)
17 8ft 1.5in (248 cm) 400 pounds (180 kg)
18 8 ft 4 in (254 cm) 390 pounds (177kg)
22 (on birthday) 8ft9.5in (268 cm) 491 pounds (223kg)
22 (time of death) 8ft 11.1in (272 cm) 490 pounds (222kg)