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The Tallest Man Who Ever Lived Died in Michigan

tallest man ever
Warren Moulton/YouTube

The tallest human ever known to roam the earth, Robert Wadlow, died in Michigan. Wadlow’s short life began in southern Illinois near St. Louis and he died at age 22 in Manistee, Michigan.

Wadlow toured with Ringling Brothers Circus as well as other promotional tours. And it was on one such tour stop in northern Michigan that he turned ill. Wikipeda says,

On July 4, 1940, during a professional appearance at the Manistee National Forest Festival, a faulty brace irritated his ankle, causing a blister and subsequent infection. Doctors treated him with a blood transfusion and emergency surgery, but his condition worsened due to an autoimmune disorder, and on July 15, 1940, 11 days after contracting the infection, he died in his sleep at the age of 22.

Though he died in Michigan, he was laid to rest in his hometown of Alton, which today features a statue in his honor.

Robert Wadlow in Michigan

hotel chippewa manistee
vintadv via eBay

The Hotel Chippewa in Manistee is where Wadlow passed away following his illness. Sadly the building no longer stands, lost to a fire in 1985. The majesty of the old hotel is captured in this 1929 postcard. The Manistee County Historical Society has dozens of photos of the fire at the Hotel Chippewa, then known as Coral Gables, captured by the Manistee News Advocate.

Wadlow was in town for a local festival, an appearance similar to the one captured in this rare film below.

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