Guinness World Records is sad to hear of the passing today of the world’s shortest man, Khagendra Thapa Magar.
Khagendra, who was born on 14 October 1992, stood at 67.08 cm (2 ft 2.41 in) tall when measured at Fewa City Hospital in Pohkara, Nepal, on the advent of his 18th birthday in 2010.
GWR recognises two categories for people of short stature – mobile and non-mobile – and Khagendra’s height made him the shortest living mobile man on the planet, just over 7 cm taller than Filipino Junrey Balawing, who measures 59.93 cm (1 ft 11.5 in) and who, owing to the medical condition osteogenesis imperfecta, is unable to walk or stand unaided.
Khagendra was born in the Baglung district of Nepal, the eldest son of Roop Bahadur and Dhan Maya. His father recalled, “He was so tiny when he was born that he could fit in the palm of your hand, and it was very hard to bathe him because he was so small.”
He first came to the attention of Guinness World Records in early 2010, when he was measured by Records Manager Marco Frigatti on the GWR Italian TV show Lo Show dei Record and confirmed to be the shortest teenager (male) living.
He made his first appearance in the GWR 2011 book, alongside Jyoti Amge, the shortest teenager (female) living.
On reaching 18 years and qualifying for the adult record, Khagendra took the title from Edward “Niño” Hernandez of Colombia, a reggaeton DJ who stands 70.21 cm (2 ft 3.46 in). The measurements, made by a paediatric specialise in Nepal, were once again overseen by GWR’s Marco Frigatti.
Khagendra quickly caught the public’s imagination, and in 2011, he was appointed as a Nepalese Goodwill Ambassador for Tourism.
Guinness World Records last caught up with Khagendra in December 2018 to document a day in his life, including time spent at his family’s shop, leisure activities such as playing guitar and travelling around his home town on a motorbike with his brother.
According to friends, Khagendra had been struggling recently with heart problems, asthma and pneumonia. He was admitted to the Manipal Hospital in Nepal on Thursday 16 January and passed away at 3pm local time on Friday.
Craig Glenday, GWR Editor-in-Chief, who first met Khagendra during his visit to Italy in 2010, said:
We’re terribly sad to hear the news from Nepal that Khagendra is no longer with us. His bright smile was so infectious that he melted the hearts of anyone who met him. As many people of short stature experience, life can be challenging when you weigh just 6 kg and you don’t fit into world built for the average person. But Khagendra certainly didn’t let his small size stop him from getting the most out of life. It’s been an honour to know him and his family, and a privilege to share his story with the world.
The record for shortest living mobile man has now reverted back to Edward Hernandez.