Sadly, Leonid Stadnyk, once unofficially considered the tallest man in the world, died Sunday. He was 44.
Although he was never measured by the Guinness World Records committee — he was largely introverted — many consider the peasant farmer to be the world’s tallest man, according to the Mirror.
A GWR spokesperson weighed in.
“We have contacted Stadnyk, but he seems like a very shy guy. He doesn’t want us around. So we have to stick to what we have.”
Standing at 8-foot-four inches tall, he was eight inches taller than former Houston Rockets center, Yao Ming, according to the baller’s NBA player profile. He also wore a size 27 shoe, and the palms of his hands were 18 inches in diameter.
A number of years ago, the recluse farmer agreed to a video interview. Then, he talked about how difficult his life had become because the world was not built for oversize people. Furthermore, he discussed how he denied consideration of the tallest man in the world title because he did not want to be measured.
“To me, my height is a curse, a punishment from God, not something to celebrate. What sin I have committed, I do not know. All my life I have dreamed of being just like everyone else. I don’t want or need the fame that this would bring so I have no desire to be in this Guinness book.”
Humans like Leonid typically have problems with the pituitary gland, a part of the brain that releases a hormone responsible for growth. As one gets older, it produces less of the growth hormone. However, the sheepish man suffered a benign tumor that caused the pituitary to remain active in a period when it typically goes dormant. The abnormality led to a condition called gigantism.
Sources say Leonid Stadnyk died suddenly over the weekend, and had been in poor health as of late. His cause of death is due a brain hemorrhage.
Here’s a bit of Guinness Records trivia.
Currently, the official GWR for the World’s Tallest Man Living belongs to Sultan Kosen, a part-time farmer who resides in Ankara, Turkey. He stands at 8-foot-3 inches.
The tallest man ever in medical history was Robert Pershing Wadlow, from Alton, Illinois. At the time of his early death at 22 from a septic blister, he stood 8-foot-11 inches tall.
He had a ring size of 25, an arm span of nearly 10 feet and a daily diet based on 8,000 calories.
[Image via The Tallest Man]