The tallest man in the United States, Igor Vovkovinskiy, 7 feet, 8 inches tall, died recently of heart disease at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester at just 38 years old, as announced by his mother, Svetlana Vovkovinska, in a Facebook post.
He was born on September 8, 1982, in Bar, Ukraine, but was raised in the United States Igor was a normal child like any other, he was only a bit taller than the rest but his life would change when in 1989 he entered the Mayo Clinic in 1989 and doctors discovered a tumor pressing against his pituitary gland.
This pressure caused the gland to secrete high levels of growth hormone which then caused a rapid and disproportionate growth of his body.
This is how he grew up to be the tallest man in America and one of the tallest in recorded history. His older brother, Oleh Ladan, said that Vovkovinskiy was a celebrity when he arrived from Ukraine because of his size. But Ladan was sure that his brother would rather have had a normal life than be known.
Vovkovinskiy was featured on several television shows during his lifetime and was even mentioned by President Barack Obama during a political event in 2009 while wearing his “World’s Greatest Obama Supporter” shirt that made him so famous.
In 2012 he made an online request for $16,000 to cover the cost of the shoes made especially for him that he needed because his size is too large and it was impossible for him to buy shoes in stores. Thousands of people donated more than double the amount he needed and even got help from Reebok who gave him free sports shoes.
Over the next few days, friends and family will gather for Igor’s wake and subsequent crematorium.