Measuring Up (Or Not) To The Tallest Man In The World

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Driving along a quiet tree lined street in Alton, IL its easy to miss the statue of Robert Wadlow, Guinness Book of World Record holder for being the tallest man in the world. His life size statue resides in a small green space across the street from the Alton Museum of History and Art.

The green space is pleasant and peaceful, much like the gentle giant that watches over the area. Robert Wadlow, who had a pituitary gland disorder, grew to 8′ 11″ tall. Although his life was short lived he traveled for a year with Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. The next year he became a representative for the International Show Company. During his two-year tenure with them he visited 800 towns in 41 states. Sadly, due to an infection that began in his ankle, Mr. Wadlow passed away at the young age of 22 on July 15, 1940.

Today, you can visit a statue constructed in his honor to see how you measure up to his 8’11” height and his size 37 shoe.

Me–5’5″ I felt SHORT next to him


We also put Em’s foot next to Mr. Wadlow’s size 37:



Be sure to see how you measure up to Mr. Wadlow when you visit Alton, IL.

Know Before You Go

Hours of Operation: Daylight hours

Fee: Free

Location: Across the street from Alton Museum of History & Art in Loomis Hall at 2809 College Avenue.

Questions: Contact at 618.465.6676


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  1. That is one tall man. LOL! I am 5 feet- I wonder how I would look next to him!

  2. I’m pretty sure I would come up to his knee! I totally want to go to see!

  3. I actually remeber watching something about Robert Wadlow on TV a few years back. It’s a shame he died so youung! Sounds like an interesting place to visit =)

  4. Holy cow at 5’3 and a half I’d feel like such a shorty! I love the foot shot!

  5. Whoa; he was TALL! If my daughter stood on my shoulders, she would just about meet him eye-to-eye!

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