What is the Tallest Men in History

By John L

Men that achieve great height have attracted attention since ancient times. The tallest men in the world since such records have been kept have all eclipsed the 7-foot mark in height, with seven of the men being taller than 8 feet. One man grew to almost 9 feet tall. Here is some information about the tallest men in history.


The tallest man in history was Robert Ludlow of the United States. Ludlow measured 8 feet and 11 inches and the Guiness Book of World Records lists him as the tallest man ever. Ludlow weighed almost 500 pounds. The second tallest man was John Rogan from Tennessee. Rogan grew to 8 foot 9 inches but at the time of his death weighed only 175 pounds due to bone disease. In all, there are seven men that grew higher than 8 feet. Of the 20 tallest men in history, none are under 7 foot 6 inches in height.

Time Frame

The almost 9-foot tall Ludlow was born on February 22nd, 1918 and weighed “just” 8 pounds 6 ounces at birth. But by the age of 6 months, he weighed 30 pounds and a year later he had doubled in size. Ludlow, who hailed from Alton, Illinois, was 6 foot 2 inches tall when he was 8 years old. By the time Robert was 13, he was 7 foot 4 inches tall, the world’s tallest Boy Scout. He broke the record for the world’s tallest man at age 19 when he passed 8 foot 4 inches. Ludlow died at age 22 when he was almost 9 feet tall, succumbing to infections brought about by blisters because of his footwear, which was always a problem since he needed a size 37 shoe.


The tallest Ukrainian is Leonid Ivanovych Stadnyk , who measures 8 foot 6 inches tall. The tallest Turkish man is Sultan Kosen at 8 foot 1 inch; Väinö Myllyrinne at the same height, was the tallest Finn ever, dying in 1963. Gabriel Estêvão Monjane is the tallest African ever recorded, coming from Mozambique and standing a little over 8 foot tall. Bao Xishun is 7 foot 9, China’s tallest man.


With height being a positive asset in the game of basketball, you would suspect that some of the world’s tallest men played the sport. Manute Bol of the Sudan was an effective basketball player despite his frail body. Bol was a shot blocking terror in the NBA at 7 foot 7 inches, even though he weighed only 220 pounds. However, his lack of strength took away from his offensive game. China’s Yao Ming is probably the best basketball player to ever exceed 7 foot 5 inches, as he has the strength on his 310 pound frame to withstand the rigors of playing under the basket.


Ludlow’s height was thought to be the result of an overactive pituitary gland, a gland that produces growth hormones. Ludlow’s condition could not be handled in 1920 before the advent of drugs to control the pituitary.