Top 20 Tallest People of All Time

It’s incredible and awe inspiring when you hear about athletes who are amazingly tall, and you watch them preform in wonder. But what about just an ordinary joe of a person? Well, ordinary in the case that one individual grew to 5’ tall by the time he was 5 years old. Yes, that actually happened!

So perhaps not so ‘ordinary’ height wise, but most of these tall individuals tried to have some pieces of normality within their lives. They had siblings, classmates, and friends as well, and one can’t help but wonder what it would feel like to stand next to a person of such great height, or even what a car would measure up to them.

Try it out and see for yourself and learn the fascination of the lives of these top 20 tallest people in the world ever.

20. Felipe Birriel 7’11” (2.41 m)

Standing tall and mighty at the front line of our towering journey is Felipe Birriel, or otherwise known as El Gigante de Carolina which translates to Carolina’s Giant. This correlates to his birthplace which is Carolina, Puerto Rico. As of 2022 Birriel is known as Puerto Rico’s tallest man.

Birriel was surrounded by a supportive community, for even the Governor of Puerto Rico and local business helped provide him with things he needed from furniture he could actually sit on to earning money by making appearances.

He was even deemed the guest of honor for the FIBA World Basketball Championship in San Juan, he was featured in the film Flight of the Lost Balloon that was filled in Puerto Rico!

The love didn’t stop after his passing though, a mural was created in his honor, the town he grew up in became known as Land of Giants, a museum was dedicated in his memory, a street was named after him as well as the change in the BSN basketball team: The Carolina Giants. There was even a local author who decided to create a children’s book all about the tall and wonderful Felipe Birriel.

Talk about a strong community!

19. Anna Haining Bates 7’11.5” (2.42 m)

Anna Haining Bates 7’11.5” (2.42 m)
Author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The first woman on our list is none other than Anna Haining Bates (born August 6th, 1846). Brought into this world by Scottish immigrants in Canada, Bates was extraordinarily tall right from the start as she was 27” when she was born.

In her young adulthood she was offered a paying position to travel around Europe for others to marvel at her great height. During that time, Bates met Martin Van Buren Bates who was also incredibly tall (7’9”) and they began touring together and eventually falling in love and getting married in 1871.

How sweet is that, love really does come in all shapes and sizes!

18. Zhang Juncai 7’11.3” (2.421 m)

Make way for Zhang Juncai (born March 31st, 1966)! Standing at 7’11” as of 2022 he is the tallest living person and also the tallest person in China. He was born in Shanxi, China.

Juncai has quite the fan-base, as he has his own Fandom page!

17. Anton de Franckenpoint 8’ (2.44 m)

Anton de Franckenpoint was known as Long Anton, and for good reason! Franckenpoint became the first individual who was recorded as reaching 8’. He also became the body guard of German military leader Christian von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (that’s a mouth full!).

Years and years later after his passing a museum by the name of Museum Anatomicum brought his skeleton on for display. Wish to see it for yourself? You’ll have to head on over to Marburg, Germany and get yourself a ticket!

16. Patrick Cotter O’Brien 8’ (2.44 m)

Patrick Cotter O'Brien 8’ (2.44 m)
Author, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Irish native Patrick Cotter (born January 19th,1760), later known as an O’Brien for a classy stage name, embraced his largeness and made quite a living in the circus act business. O’Brien made enough to retire a bit early and live out the rest of his life, hopefully happily, in Hotwells Bristol. He was also known as being the Bristol Giant.

O’Brien did not want his body to be looked at and examined after his death, so he requested that his body would be buried under 12 feet of solid rock. Unfortunately, this plan didn’t work, as his body was accidentally discovered by pipe works 100 years later. His body was reburied, but only to be brought back out again in 1972 to be examined yet again.

Poor guy, let’s leave him alone now.

15. Suleiman Ali Nashnush 8’0.5” (2.45 m)

All of the people featured on our list have interesting lives, but of course, but this fella certainly has a fascinating story! Suleiman Ali Nashnush (born 1943) is from Libya and is on the list of 20 people jotted down in official medical history to go past the height of 8’.

Although that’s what Nashnush was known for, he decided to get a procedure done that would shorten his height. With the success of the surgery, he stood at 7’10” and became not only a basketball player for Libya, but also an actor featured in the film Fellini Satyricon.

14. Morteza Mehrzad 8’1” (2.46 m)

As of 2022 Morteza Mehrzad (born September 17th, 1987) Mehrzad is the tallest man in the country of Iran and the tallest Paralympian in history.

Mehrzad was born with a medical condition by the name of acromegaly, and this condition causes the person to excessively grow. This led to a hard life for Mehrzard to become friends with anyone, he left alone, depressed, and lost. And sadly, at the age of 15 he was in a car accident that resulted in a halt in his right leg’s growth, which he then had to use a wheelchair or crutches to be mobile.

But in 2011 his life would change when national head coach in Iran Hadi Rezaei discovered Mehrzad and brought him into the world of the sport sitting volleyball. In 2016 he officially became a part of Iran’s national team and would go on to help them achieve a gold medal and win the 2018 Sitting Volleyball World Cup.

13. Brahim Takioullah 8’1” (2.46 m)

Former holder for the world’s largest feet, according to Guinness World Records, Brahim Takioullah (born January 26th, 1982) is from Morocco.

Takioullah was also born with the condition acromegaly, but that didn’t stop him from achieving a college degree in geography. He was brought to Paris by a doctor who helped him remove the dangerous tumor that brought his growth hormone back down to a normal level.

As of 2022, Takioullah can be found working at an attraction parc that is by the city of Beauvais, the park is named Saint-Paul. You can take a picture with Takioullah, imagine trying to give him a high-five!

12. Zeng Jinlian 8’1.75” (2.463 m)

Make way for the world’s tallest woman! Zeng Jinlian (June 26th, 1964) was born in China and fascinatingly enough by the time she was at the mere age of 4 months old, that’s right not four years but four months, she was 5’11.2”. That’s taller than the average of most adults!

Sadly, Jinlian lived with the burden of diabetes and scoliosis, and unfortunately did not get to live a very long life. She will be marked down in history though as the tallest woman in the world.

Even if she is surpassed in the future, she will still be one of the tallest ladies that ever hung around!

11. Bernard Coyne 8’2” (2.49 m)

Bernard Coyne 8’2” (2.49 m)
bondan praditya, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever seen a size 24 shoe? Well, if you had known Bernard Coyne (born July 27th, 1897) then you would have! Coyne grew up in Iowa in the United States and was recorded to be the tallest person will the condition of giantism.

Apparently when Coyne was drafted for World War I he was denied induction into the Army due to his height.

10. Don Koehler 8’2” (2.49 m)

Another tall U.S. citizen makes the list, Don Koehler (born September 1st, 1925) was a Montana resident who also had the medical condition of gigantism.

What’s incredibly peculiar about Koehler is he was actually a twin! Although his twin sister did not receive the same towering height, they did land themselves in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most height difference between a set of twins. How neat!

At the end of Koehler’s life, he requested that upon his death that he would be cremated and then scattered on a lake located in Wisconsin that he loved to fish at.

9. Jinnat Ali 8’2.82” (2.51 m)

Known as the tallest person from Bangladesh, Jinnat Ali (born 1996) never stopped growing until the day he passed away in 2020. Ali was born with the medical condition gigantism, and his family searched for help to remove the tumor in his brain.

Even the Prime Minster of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, met with Ali and his family and provided them a nice place to stay while Ali was getting treatment.

8. Sultan Kosen 8’2.89” (2.512 m)

Turkish farmer and past Magic Circus of Samoa performer Sultan Kosen (born December 10th, 1982) may not have been able to finish school due to his height, but he found his success in other areas in life.

Farming and helping his family became a passion as he could change lightbulbs without any effort and looking over fields at a great distance with his height advantage. Kosen has also been included in the Guinness World Records for his height and hands (27.5 cm). And last but certainly not least, Kosen got married to his wife Merve Dibo in 2013.

7. Édouard Beaupré 8’2.9” (2.512 m)

Édouard Beaupré 8’2.9” (2.512 m)
Author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Not only was Édouard Beaupré (born January 9th, 1881) extremely tall, he had quite a few talents despite stopping his education at the age of 12 due to his height (6’6” at that time). Beaupre took part in handling horses, spoke 5 languages, was incredibly strong, and preformed in the circus.

Beaupre was so strong, in fact, that it is recorded that he would lift horses onto his shoulders; couldn’t you even begin to imagine seeing such an act!

Sadly, Beaupre didn’t have a long life (died 1904), but his body had a very long journey before it was rightfully buried in his hometown of Willow Bunch, Saskatchewan, Canada. The circus Beaupre traveled with embalmed his body and continued to show it until his body was traded to another circus. That circus shut down and put Beaupre’s body into a warehouse that wasn’t discovered until 1907.

After the discovery the Université de Montréal took his body in and did their own research on it and displayed it within the university. In 1967 Beaupre’s family had found this out and began the process of getting his body back to Willow Bunch, this was finally accomplished in 1990.

His body was cremated, and it took two large urns to hold his ashes, may he finally rest in peace.

6. Väinö Myllyrinne 8’3” (2.514 m)

Väinö Myllyrinne 8’3” (2.514 m)
Author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Finish man Väinö Myllyrinne (born February 27th, 1909) was but of course known for his extraordinary height, but he was also known for being the tallest solider ever to serve.

Myllyrinne served for the Finnish Defense Forces, and after the war he found himself preforming in circuses and participating in pro wrestling. When the Winter War came about, Myllyrinne served once again this time for the Finish Army. The remainder of his years were spent on a chicken farm that he orchestrated.

5. Leonid Stadnyk 8’5” (2.57 m)

Coming in at number 5 is Ukraine resident Leonid Stadnyk (born August 5th, 1970) who also lived with a tumor in his pituitary gland that conditioned his body to never stop growing.

Throughout Stadnyk’s life he wanted to be left in peace, seeing his size as a nascence and not wanting to be in any form of spotlight. He lived with his mother and helped around her house, a house with ceilings and doorways that were obviously not built for his size and tended her garden and livestock.

He did receive kindness from others though, for the past president of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko gave him a car that he could actually fit in, and a computer was gifted to him that was also more functional.

4. Franz Winkelmeier 8’6” (2.59 m)

Franz Winkelmeier 8’6” (2.59 m)
From DE version of WP, [1], Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Marching all the way from Austria coming in at number 4 is Franz Winkelmeier (born April 27th, 1860), or otherwise known as the Giant of Friedburg-Lengau. As it turns out, Winkelmeier didn’t begin his extreme growth until after the age of 14, but from there on out until his end he was marveled and appreciated in many companies.

One significantly notable company he was in was none other than the renowned Queen Victoria, whom he visited on June 22 in 1887; sadly just a few months before he passed away.

3. John F. Carroll 8’8” (2.64 m)

New York resident John F. Carroll (born 1932) is known as the world’s 3rd tallest person. At the age of 16 Carroll began to grow incredibly fast, and until the time of his death he never stopped growing.

Much like his fellow record breaking tall people on this list, Carroll lived with the condition gigantism and he also suffered from severe spinal curvature. This resulted in Carroll actually losing some height towards the end of his life.

Unfortunately, there is not much documentation about his personal life, but in medical recordings he is known as the Giant of Buffalo, as that was his hometown.

2. John Rogan 8’9” (2.67 m)

John Rogan 8’9” (2.67 m)
r/OldSchoolCool, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

The second tallest man in history, and the tallest person ever of African descent, is none other than John Rogan (unfortunately it is not confirmed if Rogan was born in the year 1867 or 1871), or as his friends called him, Bud.

Rogan was the 4th child out of 12 siblings, his father William Rogan was a former slave and his family resided in Tennessee. The condition of gigantism began when he was merely 13 years old, and it was also discovered that he lived with another condition called ankyosis which resulted in skeletal like joints. He was sadly incredibly underweight his entire life, at his passing he weighed in at 105 lbs.

Due to his condition, he was not able to do very much physical labor, but that didn’t stop him from having a playful attitude towards others and selling portraits of himself to make money.

Rogan could often be found riding in his makeshift wheelchair, a kart pulled by goats.

1. Robert Wadlow 8’11” (2.72 m)

Robert Wadlow 8’11” (2.72 m)
Author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

And now to present the world’s tallest person ever, Robert Wadlow (born February 22nd, 1918)!

Wadlow gained the title of world’s tallest man ever in 1955 by the Guinness World Records and according to them he has since been printed in just about every edition of the famous record books. His legend is certainly living on!

Although his birth was quite average and there seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary, that quickly changed his parent’s perspective as he measured at 5’4” by the age of 5. Could you imagine shopping in the teens section of clothing for your little tike!?

Robert Wadlow vs average US male height

Wadlow unfortunately did live with some health conditions due to his enormous height from gigantism, but radically enough that didn’t seize him from making the most out of his childhood. He even got to join the Boy Scouts, scouting his own uniform and custom-made tent, and sleeping bag. What a troop!

Can you even believe that there were people, or currently living people, who are that tall? It’s insanely captivating! The world must wonder if a human will come about that will be taller than Robert Wadlow or a towering basketball star like Suleiman Ali Nashnush.

You can wonder in fun amusement with our free online tool and compare the heights of the awesome people you just learned about, or even compare their heights to a car or your favorite celebrities! It’s all possible!