The human body itself is one of the best known marvels in the world—while also being one of the world’s best known mysteries. Just when we think that we already know enough about the human body, it keeps surprising us in the strangest ways.
While everyone’s lucky enough to grow into relatively normal sized people, some people have to deal with the wonders that the human body may grant them. Some people don’t get any taller than they were as a teenager.
Others, however, just keep growing. An even smaller contingent of people kept growing, due to circumstances within their body that they couldn’t control. While some people did end up using their height to their advantage, others ended up succumbing to their health issues caused by their often chronic conditions.
Many of those particular people are now known as the tallest people in history. Now, a lot of people assume that the tallest people in history are primarily athletes, such as basketball players. Although there are plenty of tall guys in basketball, these guys are truly some of the tallest people in the world. In this article, we’re going to look at 10 of the tallest known people in history.
The 10 Tallest People In History
1. Robert Wadlow
The de facto tallest man in history is Robert Wadlow, also known as the ‘Giant of Illinois.’ His height measured at an impressive 8′ 11.1”, making him the tallest person in the world. Unfortunately, he ended up succumbing to his body’s chronic development of abnormal levels of HGH, passing away at age 22, just days after being measured.
Wadlow experienced a condition that causes his pituitary gland to remain hyperactive, causing abnormal levels of human growth hormone (HGH) to remain in the body. An interesting thing to note is the fact that Wadlow did, in fact, continue to grow until he passed away.
2. John Rogan
Another one of the tallest people in history is John Rogan. Rogan was, in fact, the tallest American person in recorded history for about 100 years, right until Robert Wadlow broke the initial record he held for a long time. Rogan had developed ankylosis at age 13, later losing the ability to walk; he also weighed about 175 pounds, as both disability and disease prevented him from gaining more weight.
Despite that, Rogan was much like Wadlow, having continued to grow until he passed away. He measured an incredible 8′ 9”, a height that still makes him the tallest person of African ethnicity in recorded medical history.
3. John Carroll
Another American for the list, John Carroll is considered the third tallest person to be recorded in medical history. Despite that, Carroll wasn’t actually properly measured, due to the condition of his body.
Carroll suffered from gigantism and also had a severe two-dimensional curve to his spine that made measurement improbable. During his last formal measurement, it was discovered that he did measure an estimated 8’7.75”, if his spine were straight.
Some experts, however, assume that he actually had a height of over 9 feet tall around the time of his death. His condition prevented him from being measured at a standing height of more than 8′ tall. Carroll did experience frequent bodily growth, even growing as much as 7 inches during a short months-long period as a teenager.
4. Leonid Stadnyk
Ukrainian Leonid Stadnyk doesn’t consider himself the tallest man alive—though, due to his incredible height, he very well may be.
Although he does have a recorded height of 8′ 5.2” (2.57m), Stadnyk currently refuses to follow the measuring protocol of the Guinness World Records. If he were to submit his true height, he would become the tallest living man in the world and fourth on the all time list.
While Stadnyk still refuses to be counted by the Guinness World Records, he’s still considered one of the tallest in the world—by a wide margin.
5. Vaino Myllyrinne
Finnish-born Vaino Myllyrinne is another one of the world’s tallest people. In fact, he was actually the tallest person in the world during the period from 1961 to 1963. While he was one of the world’s tallest people, he actually didn’t become that tall in a short period of time.
By the time he was 21, he only measured 7’3” in height. He didn’t actually get to his recorded height of 8’3” until he reached his late 30s, when he experienced another growth spurt. Myllyrinne does have the biggest hand span in recorded history, though—one measuring 15.7 inches across.
6. Edouard Beaupre
As another North American, Edouard Beaupre was one of the tallest men in the world at the time of his death. He measured 8’3” in height, having been called the ‘Willow Bunch Giant’ at many points in his life.
Beaupre was another tall person who suffered from an overactive pituitary gland, which caused his body to experience the effects of having too much HGH develop in its system. Despite that, Beaupre is still known as the World’s Tallest Wrestler and Strongman, since he was heavily involved with the Barnum and Bailey circus, during the start of the 20-th century.
7. Sultan Kosen
The tallest man alive is from Turkey—a sharp-witted man by the name of Sultan Kosen. Officially recorded as the World’s Tallest Living Person by the Guinness World Records, Kosen would actually be the second tallest living person, if peer Leonid Stadnyk didn’t refuse an official measurement. Kosen is also a record holder for having the largest hand and feet on a living person.
On an interesting note, Kosen also experienced problems that led to his growth problems, mainly stemming from his pituitary gland. He was, however, able to complete successful treatment that help stopped the innate hyperactivity of his pituitary gland, ultimately curbing his growth since 2012.
8. Vikas Uppal
India-born Vikas Uppal is considered one of the tallest people in recorded history—though, not according to the record books. Unfortunately, the Guinness World Records officials weren’t able to get an official measurement from Uppal before his death in 2007.
Some source do list his last known height as 8’10” tall, though there are others that place him at just 8’3”. Of course, there are sources that round completely down to 8′. Here, we’re assuming that Suppal measured 8’3” tall, which is actually the number that most people report for his height.
9. Don Koehler
As another American who became one of the tallest people in the world, Don Koehler also held the title being the de facto tallest person in the world throughout the 1970s until his death in 1981. During that time, his height of 8’2” helped him secure the title of being the World’s Tallest Person.
Interestingly, Koehler was actually a twin—his twin sister didn’t develop the condition that he had, which was acromegalic gigantism. In fact, she only reached a normal 5’9” in height. That height discrepancy between them, though, did produce a World Record breaking height differential that measured over 29 inches between them.
10. Bernard Coyne
Bernard Coyne was one of the world’s tallest people who suffered from Daddy long-legs syndrome, also known as eunuchoidal gigantism. On his World World I draft registration card, his height was listed at 8′, though some resources say that he may have stood as tall as 8’4” by the time he passed.
Coyne was interestingly refused entry into the United States Army in 1918, a time where he only measured 7’9” in height. Like others who suffered from his condition, he did continue to grow until the time of his death.
Honorable Mention: Patrick Cotter O’Brien
Patrick Cotter O’Brien, while not in the top 10, is still pretty honorable as one of the tallest people in the world. In fact, he was the first person in all of recorded history to have reached 8′ in height. Although he was born in 1762, his height of 8’1” wasn’t actually verified—until his casket was literally put through exhumation to get the record breaking information.