This day marks the passing, in 1940, of Robert Pershing Wadlow, the tallest man to have ever lived (that should read the tallest verified...). Just so you know, he is the man in the middle of this picture...
His height was recorded at just over 8'11" when he died, aged 22, following complications from an infected blister in his ankle.
It is almost impossible to imagine someone standing nearly nine feet tall... for example Wadlow's shoes were reportedly a size 37... and he towered over his father Harold "Shortarse" Wadlow, who was a mere 5'11"...
Wadlow's remarkable height has been attributed to something called hypertrophy of the pituitary gland... in layman's terms his body produced abnormally high levels of human growth hormone; he was as tall as me (6'2") when he was aged just eight and even at the time of his death, there was seemingly no sign of his growth stopping.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given our fascination with the "extraordinary", Wadlow became a celebrity through numerous public appearances and tours. Over the years, he needed a leg brace to walk and had little feeling in his lower limbs and feet... to be honest if I had been his blood, I'd have given up and turned back round about the knee area too...
From what I've read, Wadlow had been a hard-working student... would you believe he was good at basketball?!... and he was a keen photographer too... People who knew him said Robert Wadlow was a very kind man; it's just a shame that he was destined to live a life that was as proportinally short as he was tall...
All my own work... almost.