Robert Pershing Wadlow (February 22, 1918 – July 15, 1940), sometimes known as the Alton Giant and the Giant of Illinois, is the tallest person in history for whom there is irrefutable evidence. The Alton and Illinois monikers reflect the fact that he was born and grew up in Alton, Illinois.
Wadlow reached 8 ft 11.1 in (2.72 m) in height and weighed 439 lb (199 kg) at his death at age 22. His great size and his continued growth in adulthood were due to hyperplasia 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.
Human height is the distance from the bottom of the feet to the top of the head in a human body, standing erect.
When populations share genetic background and environmental factors, average height is frequently characteristic within the group. Exceptional height variation (around 20% deviation from average) within such a population is sometimes due to gigantism or dwarfism, which are medical conditions caused by specific genes or endocrine abnormalities.
Al Tomaini (1912-1962), born Aurelio Tomaini, was a claimant to being the world's tallest individual. Tomaini claimed a height of 8 feet, 6½ inches; however, Guinness World Records stated he was really 7 feet, 11 inches.
Tomaini was the son of Santo Tomaini and Maria Bossone. He was one of seven children. At the age of 12, he was taller than his father, who stood 6 feet, 1 inch tall. He had a great-grandfather in Italy who was also of abnormal height. His parents consulted a physician who, through the use of X-rays, discovered the cause of his giantism to be an over-active pituitary gland.
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