Roadside Attraction….The World’s Tallest Man
Nothing is more exciting than when you figure out what you really love to do and enjoy. I knew I loved to travel, and I really loved to write, but I had no idea I would love the strange, the spooky, and those fun, kitchy roadside attractions as much as I do! I have been having so much fun this summer finding them, so I truly hope you enjoy all the roadside fun I find!
Born February 22nd, 1918, in Alton, IL, Robert Wadlow would come to be known as the “Worlds Tallest Man” growing to 8 feet and 11.1 inches. His shoe size was a 37AA(He holds the World Record for the biggest feet), and his hands measures at 12.75 inches from the wrist to tip (Another World Record), and he weighed 490 pounds. Ironically, he was born like every child, at a mere 8 pounds and 7 ounces, but by 6 months old, he was already 30 pounds! At 5 years old, he clocked in at 5 feet and 4 inches tall, then at age 8 he was 6 feet tall and weighing 169 pounds. Just before he turned 13, he was measured at 7 feet and 4 inches tall and became known as the “World’s Tallest Boy Scout,”
Robert was a smart boy, and one summer had a lemonade stand with his siblings. Of course people came to see him, so he’d make them pay for the drink before he stood up for a picture! They made over $100!
Then at age 19 he was deemed the “World’s Tallest Man” at the time measuring in at 8 feet and 4 inches. Funny enough, he never played basketball because the Coaches were too worried about his safety. Side note, he also met Walt Disney at a Convention in Kansas!
At 21 he signed with Ringing Brothers AND Barnum and Bailey’s Circus, making dignified appearances in a suit and tie…I can’t help but thinking about him in the movie “The Greatest Showman.”
He died at the young age of 22 in a Michigan hotel room after a parade appearance he had made. A poorly fitted brace created a blister that caused an infection that took his life. He only lived 22 years, but he did a lot in his short life than most do in their 80 plus.
I found his statue, which stands at his height at death, which was 8 feet, 11.1 inches tall, at the SIU Dental School grounds at 2810 College Avenue. There is parking BEHIND the Statue on the College grounds, but College Avenue that runs in front of him has ZERO parking on it and can be very busy, so keep that in mind. See his statue, his chair, and the plaque that explains who he is. A great stop, don’t miss the fun photo opp!
Check out more of my Roadside Attractions HERE. Enjoy!
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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!