Robert Pershing Wadlow is the tallest person in medical history for whom there is irrefutable documented evidence.

Because he was born in Alton, Illinois, a town one hundred miles south of the capitol, Springfield, and across the river from St. Louis, Bob got the nickname of “The Alton Giant.”

Hyperpituitarism made him grow

Robert Wadlow reached 8 feet 11.1 inches (272 cm) in height and weighed 490 pounds (220 kg) at his death. His great size and his continued growth past adolescence and well into adulthood was astonishing. A medical condition called “hypertrophy of the pituitary gland”  caused by an adenoma, a benign tumour, resulted in abnormally high levels of the pituitary gland, the human growth hormone.  It is doubtful this cause known when  Robert was alive, or even whether the techniques for its removal were known. Perhaps this is why he has a preponderance of planets in the twelfth house — secrets, hospitals and hidden enemies.

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Opposite Regulus

He showed no sign of an end to his growth even at the time of his death. His ascendant is opposite the fixed Star Regulus suggesting normal laws did not apply to him. His chart is rather interesting, and at first glance seems to be an hourglass temperament type, but that does not work for his is really a bucket with a Mars handle.

This type shows two things: — one Mars is not at home at graceful Libra and seems to break its boundaries. It’s ruler is in the second house of personal assets, which unfortunately, Bob had a plethora. Second, this sorrowfully depicts his thwarted ambitions:  at his death he was studying for the law – a Libran calling.

He died 15 July 1940.


I reviewed this essay for accuracy on 2 August 2022.  It was originally published on 22 February 2018.