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How the Tallest Person Ever Died

Robert Wadlow is the tallest man and person who ever lived. You’ve probably seen one of the statues around the World. Or maybe a wax replica in Ripley’s Believe It or Not.


You may also know that he lived his life from 1918 – 1940 and measured and astoinashing 272 cm // 8 feet 11 inches. But few people know how Robert Wadlow died.


Also read the more general post: Tallest Man Ever: Robert Wadlow



Robert Wadlow got taller than tall because of abnormal hypertrophy of his pituitary gland. But this wasn’t the cause of his death.


Robert Wadlow died from a blood infection. Yes. That’s actually true – and how it happen is briefly summed up in the following.


Taller than Tall can be Lethal

Not in itself, well.. maybe, I don’t know – but in the case of our tall friend Robert Wadlow, he didn’t die as a direct result of being a tall glass of water.


It was a hot summer day in July and Robert Wadlow was attending the National Forest Festival. The year was 1940 and Robert Wadlow was 22 years old at the time.


Robert was never confined to a wheel chair – however, at his height, he had to use assistance in the form of crutches and braces. This day in the forest, a brace irritated his ancle enough to cause a blister.


A blister isn’t dangerous in itself, but it often leads to skin-breakage and thereby a risk of having things from the outside World enter the inside of our dear Robert.


And that is exactly what happened. Robert Wadlow got a blood infection through the blister on his ancle. Today, this blood infection probably wouldn’t have led to the death of a grown man, but back in the days, I’m guessing things were different medical treatment wise – if that is a term.


The doctors tried to turn the tallest man ever vertical again, but they didn’t manage to save Robert. They treated him with blood transfusion, but this wasn’t enough to cure the infection.


The tallest man in the World died in his sleep that night. An estimated people attended his funeral, as he had gotten super famous during his life.


Robert Wadlow's funeral


He was buried in an enormous coffin which was then interred in a vault made of concrete. These precautions had been decided by his family, because they feared that his body was too extraordinary for people to let rest in peace.


Robert Wadlow's grave

I thought that Robert Wadlow grew to be the tallest man who ever lived – and then grew some more until his body couldn’t handle the stress anymore. As I have tried to outline here, that was not the case.


News to me.. And I just wanted to let you in on these insights, if you happen to be interested in our favorite tall celeb, Robert Pershing Wadlow.

10 Responses
  • Anonymous
    September 17, 2015

    God Is The Tallest Man

    • Anonymous
      March 22, 2016

      nope. god’s 5’7″

  • Lulu
    April 2, 2016

    Antibiotics were in their early days but, I read, he actually had an autoimmune disorder which complicated his recovery.

  • NotSoTallsome
    September 25, 2017

    So if he didn’t die from infection, hypothetically, would he continue growing taller? Why did he need crutches and braces though?

    • Anonymous
      April 3, 2018

      because his bones couldn’t handle his height

    • Anonymous
      April 29, 2018

      Because he was so tall

  • Anthony Mandich
    February 24, 2018

    Its rather sad that he was only permitted to reside on the planet a mere 22 years. It seems such a small amount of time.

  • Sarahlee
    June 19, 2018

    It’s so sad 😢 that he died from that I wish he survived longer!!!!!

    • Rued
      July 23, 2018

      Yes, would have love to meet him in person – get a photo maybe.

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