Born and raised in Alton, Illinois, Robert Pershing Wadlow was the tallest person in history reaching a height of 8ft 11.1 inches (2.720 metres) and weighing 439 pounds (199kg). His height was attributed to hypertrophy of the pituitary gland, which results in an abnormally high level of human growth hormone. Also known as the Alton Giant or Giant of Illinois, Wadlow was an American celebrity and toured with Ringling Brothers Circus and made other public appearances.
Wadlow’s life was cut short in 1940 when a blister from a faulty leg brace caused an infection that required a blood transfusion and surgery. Only 22 years old, he died in his sleep on July 15, 1940. The 1998 Guinness Book of World Records mentions that Wadlow may have still been growing when he died and could have reached or exceeded nine feet (2.74 m). (Wikipedia)