Remembering Chandra Dangi - the world's shortest man ever
By Rachel Swatman
Chandra Bahadur Dangi, one of the most iconic record holders to have graced the pages of the Guinness World Records book, sadly passed away earlier this month.
The Nepalese record holder was a primordial dwarf, a condition that rarely sees people survive past thirty, but Mr Dangi remarkably lived for 75 years and touched the world with his strength and spirit.
At 54.6 cm (21.5 in) tall, and weighing just 14.5 kg (31 lb 15.52 oz), Chandra held the prestigious title of Shortest man living, and remains the Shortest man ever following an official measurement at the CIWEC Clinic Travel Medicine Center in Lainchaur, Kathmandu, Nepal on 26 February 2012.
Until his recognition by Guinness World Records, Chandra had spent his entire life in the remote Nepalese mountain village of Rhimkholi, about 250 miles west of Kathmandu. He lived there with his five brothers (all of an average height) and made his living weaving traditional Nepalese garments.
Chandra's home was so remote that it wasn't until a forest contractor cutting timber in the village met him and informed local media that his incredible size came to light.
Recalling the historic moment Chandra was recognised as the shortest man on record, Craig Glenday, Editor-in-Chief of Guinness World Records says:
“I had the honour of accepting Mr Dangi’s invite to Kathmandu in 2012 to oversee his official measurements. It was there that we stood in front of the world’s press and announced his position as not only the shortest man living but the shortest man ever measured in the 60-year history of Guinness World Records.
“His life changed immeasurably after his record was confirmed – he was showered with gifts and invitations overseas, and he became an instant global celebrity. He handled the media frenzy in his stride, and while he enjoyed the accolade and recognition, he also understood what it meant for everyone in Nepal to celebrate this iconic record.
Speaking at the time of Craig's visit in 2012, Chandra said: "I'm very happy that I'm being recognised by Guinness World Records and that my name will be written in the book. It's a big thing for my family, my village and my country. I am very happy.”
Above: Chandra alongside Guinness World Records adjudicator Marco Frigatti and the Shortest woman living Jyoti Amge (62.8 cm).
Chandra said that his Guinness World Records recognition meant he “actually got the opportunity to visit many places over the whole world, and meet many people”, adding that that the love that was shown to him was immensely important to him.
In an extraordinary moment last year, Chandra met fellow record-holder Sultan Kosan – the Tallest man living (251 cm and four and a half times the size of Chandra).
Speaking this week from his home in Turkey, Sultan told of his sorrow upon learning of Chandra's passing. "The news of Chandra's death saddens me deeply, may my fellow world record holder rest in peace".
He may now no longer be with us, but Craig says Chandra certainly made a huge impact around the world.
“Mr Dangi was the perfect ambassador for his country, always gracious and dignified, and happy to pose for photographs and share anecdotes about living his life at half a metre tall. Everyone at GWR is terribly sad to hear of his passing and sent our heartfelt condolences to Mr Dangi’s family.”