The life of the tallest man who ever lived is utterly fascinating

Robert wadlowScreen grabRobert Wadlow and his family

The world’s tallest man was 3 feet tall as a toddler, could carry his father at the age of 9, and stretched to a fantastic height of 8 feet 11 inches.

This is the incredible life of Robert Wadlow, whose hands measured a foot long and whose arms spanned 9 feet 5 inches.

Robert Pershing Wadlow was born on February 22, 1918, and weighed a healthy 8 pounds 6 ounces. Soon after his birth, he began to grow at an astounding rate. In this photo, 6-month-old Wadlow weighed 30 pounds, about twice the normal weight for his age.

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As a kindergartner, 5-year-old Wadlow wore clothes intended for a 17-year-old. Three years later, Wadlow towered at a height of 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighed nearly 200 pounds. Here's Wadlow's height and weight plotted alongside the CDC's growth chart for healthy males aged 2-20 years old.

Andy Kiersz/Business Insider

By the time he was 10-years-old, Wadlow weighed 210 pounds, was more than 6 feet tall, and wore a size 17 1/2 shoe.

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Eventually his shoe size grew to a size 37 and each pair cost $100.

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At the age of 12, Wadlow learned he had a hyper-active pituitary gland that caused his incredible growth. In this photo, world heavy weight champion Primo Carnera playfully punches a then-6 foot 11 inch Wadlow.

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As a 13-year-old Boy Scout, Wadlow's uniform, sleeping bag, and tent were all modified, according to Scouting Magazine. Wadlow also consumed 5 times the normal caloric intake for his age.

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Source: ScoutingMagazine

Wadlow was the oldest of five siblings. Here's Wadlow on his 17th birthday with his two younger brothers.

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As a young man, Wadlow's custom-made clothes required 3 times the amount of cloth. Here's Wadlow being measured for a suit jacket for his 8 foot 3 inch stature.

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As a 19-year-old, Wadlow stretched to a height of 8 feet, 7 inches and officially became the tallest man in the world.

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Known as a 'Gentle Giant,' Wadlow earned money from national public appearances. When asked in a radio interview if he was annoyed when people stared at him, he calmly replied, 'No, I just overlook them.'

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On July 15, 1940, Wadlow passed away in his sleep after suffering from an infection in his foot. He was 22-years-old, weighed 490 pounds, and was 8 feet and 11 inches.

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Wadlow's 1,000-pound casket required 18 pallbearers and was carried to his final resting place in his hometown of Alton, Illinois. Wadlow's family decided to destroy most of his belongings in fear that his personal effects would be collected and displayed as 'freak' memorabilia.

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