15.07.

1940: The Tallest Man in History was a Freemason

1940: The Tallest Man in History was a Freemason
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ "Wadlow shoe compared" by Doug Coldwell - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 15 July 1940
  • Robert Wadlow grew so fast already during childhood that he was taller than his father by the time he was only six years old. When he was nine, Robert was already supposedly strong enough to carry his father up the stairs. Apparently, his Freemason ring was the largest ever made.

On this day, in 1940, the tallest man in recorded history of mankind, Robert Wadlow, died.

Namely, that American has reached the height of 272 cm before he died, which is the highest irrefutable human height to date. In fact, at a time when Wadlow died, he was only 22 years old and was still growing, so it is almost certain that his height would increase had he lived longer.

Robert Wadlow was born in Alton in Illinois. It is a city that lays on the famous Mississippi River, not far from the mouth of another large river – the Missouri River. Robert’s father was Harold Wadlow and he was 182 centimeters tall. Robert Wadlow grew so fast already during childhood that he was taller than his father by the time he was only six years old. When he was nine, Robert was already supposedly strong enough to carry his father up the stairs.

"Robert Wadlow" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.
“Robert Wadlow” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

Unfortunately, Robert’s rapid continued growth was due to abnormally high level of human growth hormone. Eventually, he required leg braces to walk, but he never used a wheelchair. A year before his death, Robert became a member in the local Masonic Lodge. Apparently, his Freemason ring was the largest ever made.

The cause of Robert’s death at only 22 was supposedly an injury sustained from his leg brace. There was an infection and he even underwent emergency surgery, but he could not be saved. At the time of death, he weighed 223 kg, though he was slim. A coffin 3 meters long, weighing half a ton, was made for his funeral.

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