It’s with great sadness that we say farewell to the iconic siblings Ronnie and Donnie Galyon – the world’s oldest conjoined twins ever (male) at the age of 68 years.
The American twins from Beavercreek, Ohio passed this 4 July after having experienced a decline in their health over the last 10 years.
Ronnie and Donnie have been joined at the abdomen since their birth on 25 October 1951. Doctors felt separating them would be too high-risk.
The brothers were most known for having surpassed the record of their heroes Chang and Eng Bunker (b. 11 May 1811, d. 17 January 1874), the world-famous conjoined twins, who lived to be 62 years 251 days old.
They officially broke the Guinness World Records title for oldest conjoined twins living (male) and oldest conjoined twins ever (male) In 2014, after turning 63.
Ronnie and Donnie had dreamed of being in the official Guinness World Records books their entire lives and were thrilled when they were finally featured.
Although many thought of them as a pair, they were actually very different in nature, one being easy going, the other being temperamental – even sharing a difference in opinion in terms of politics.
Ronnie was actually a height of 5 feet 8 inches, while Donnie was 5 feet 5 inches.
They spent over 36 years of their lives traveling in side-shows, carnivals, and circuses earning money to support their family and eventually retired in 1991.
Fortunately, Ronnie and Donnie were able to spend the last decade of their lives with family, as they lived with their younger brother Jim Galyon.
When the twins showed early signs of complications in their well-being, 200 volunteers helped extend Jim and his wife Mary's home to allow them be comfortable and remain close to loved ones, as they needed to navigate a custom wheelchair.
In their lifetime, Ronnie and Donnie achieved extraordinary feats, including surpassing Italian twins Giacomo and Giovanni Battista Tocci (Italy, b. 1875), who were widely reported to have lived for 63 years.
They were also featured on an episode of Guinness World Records Primetime in 1998.
Now Ronnie and Donnie’s legacy will forever live on in the record books, where their record titles will be celebrated for generations to come.