Robert Pershing Wadlow (February 22, 1918 - July 15, 1940) was the tallest person in history for whom there is irrefutable evidence. Wadlow is sometimes known as the Alton Giant or Giant of Illinois because he was born and grew up in Alton, Illinois. Wadlow reached 8_ft_11.1_in (2.720_m) in height and weighed 439_lb (199_kg) at his death at age 22. His great size and his continued growth in adulthood was due to hypertrophy of his pituitary gland, which results in an abnormally high level of human growth hormone. He showed no indication of an end to his growth even at the time of his death. Wadlow was born to Addie Johnson and Harold Wadlow in Alton, Illinois on February 22, 1918, and was the oldest of five children. During elementary school, they had to make a specialized desk for him, due to his size. Wadlow was also the world's tallest Boy Scout. In 1936, after graduating from Alton High School, he enrolled in Shurtleff College with the intention of studying law.
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