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Today in history: Tallest man ever dies in Manistee

Robert Wadlow was 8 feet, 11 inches tall

On July 15, 1940, the tallest recorded person in history died at the Hotel Chippewa in Manistee.

Robert Wadlow, who measured an incredible 8 feet, 11 inches tall - and was said to be still growing when he died - suffered a leg injury from a brace he wore during an appearance at the Manistee National Forest Festival, and it led to an infection that would kill him at the age of only 22.

After his death in the hotel, which was destroyed in a fire in 1985, Wadlow was buried in his hometown of Alton, Illinois. According to Guinness World Records, about 40,000 people attended his funeral, and Wadlow’s family buried him in a vault of solid concrete to deter grave-robbers hoping for a souvenir.


The family did keep some mementoes, though, including a pair of his shoes - size 37 - that are on display at Snyder’s Shoes on River Street in Manistee.

Guinness said that Wadlow was “taller than a grizzly bear standing on its hind legs” and that is unlikely any human will ever grow taller than him.

Check out some video footage of this gentle giant below:

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