Over the years, the record for world’s tallest persons has been approached and even broken by some Black people in America. Although past records were kept poorly, recent research has provided some necessary accuracy. John Rogan, the son of a former slave in Sumner County, Tenn., was born some time in 1868. Rogan grew to be 8-feet-9.5 inches and is said to be the second tallest man in history.
Due to a medical condition, Rogan couldn’t walk or stand. The world’s tallest man, Robert Wadlow, was said to be two inches taller than Rogan. Rogan is considered the tallest person of African descent that’s ever lived. Although Ella Abomah was billed as the world’s tallest woman in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the woman born Ella Grisby in South Carolina was reportedly said to be 7-feet-6 inches, but was actually closer to 6-feet-10, according to later research.
America’s tallest Black woman was most likely Louisiana’s Delores Pullard, also known as the “Amazon Girl.” At the time of her death in 1971, Pullard was believed to be 7-feet-5 inches (but was likely 6’10) and may have been still growing. Pullard died after complications rose from the removal of her pituitary gland.
In 2007, former basketball player and Virginia deputy sheriff George Bell (pictured) was listed as the world’s tallest living man by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Bell, who stands at 7-feet-8 inches tall, starred at Morris Brown College and Biola University before playing with the Harlem Globetrotters. Bell has also starred in AMC’s Freakshow series and FX’s American Horror Story. Bell recently lost his record to Ukrainian Igor Vovkovinskiy who is 7-foot 8.33 inches tall and currently resides in America.
There are several other unverified claims of the world’s tallest woman, which include a burlesque dancer named Amazon Ashley. Although some reports and blogs list Amazon Ashley at seven feet, her Twitter page handle suggest she’s probably 6-feet-7. A native of Jamaica, Marvadene Anderson (pictured below) is the world’s tallest teenager at 6-feet-11. Anderson is currently a basketball player in the United States for the University of Pittsburgh.
(Photos: TheTallestman.com, INSTAGRAM)