Tallest person living
Sultan Kösen
251 centimetre(s)
Türkiye ()

The tallest person living is Sultan Kösen (Türkiye, b. 10 December 1982) who measured 251 cm (8 ft 2.8 in) in Ankara, Türkiye, on 8 February 2011.

A former farmer, Sultan was the first man over 8 ft (2.43 m) to be measured by Guinness World Records in over 20 years.

Sultan, who has been inducted into the Guinness World Records Hall of Fame, first became the world's tallest living man in 2009, when he measured 246.5 cm (8 ft 1 in) in height.

He took the title from Xi Shun (China, b. 1951), who stood at 2.361 m (7 ft 8.95 in) when he was measured in 2005.

Sultan also holds the record for largest hands on a living person, with each one measuring 28.5 cm (11.22 in) from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger.

And he’s also the tallest man living.

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On entering the Guinness World Records family, he once said: “I never imagined I would be in the book, I dreamed about it, but it was still a huge surprise.”

Sultan's growth and massive height is caused by a condition known as "pituitary gigantism", which is the result of an over-production of growth hormone.

Growth hormone is released from the pituitary gland in the brain and if the gland is damaged, for example by a tumour, it can release too much (or too little) of the hormone.

The effects of over-production include large hands, a thickening of the bones, and painful joints.

Sultan didn't start his growth spurt until age 10. He appears to have stopped growing thanks to a revolutionary gamma-knife surgery on the tumour affecting his pituitary gland, provided by the University of Virginia, USA, in August 2010.

Sultan has three brothers and one sister and the rest of his family, including his mum and dad, are all average height.

Read more about Sultan:

World's tallest man Sultan Kösen marks record anniversary with TV appearance

World's tallest man and shortest woman reunite in America for top secret project

World's tallest man, Sultan Kösen, celebrates 40th birthday

Tales of the tallest men in the world and why they reach such heights

World's tallest man Sultan Kösen making average-sized things look small

The tallest people over time

This is a chronological list of all the people who have held the title of either tallest man or tallest person over the course of the 20th century:

• 1900-Sep 1905 - John William "Bud" Rogan (USA) - 267 cm

• Sep 1905–Aug 1912 - Fyodor Andreevich Makhnov (BLR) - 239 cm

• Aug 1912–April 1918 - Frederick Kempster (UK/CAN) - 237 cm

• Apr 1918(?)–May 1921 - Bernard Coyne (USA) - 254 cm

• May 1921–1933 - Albert Johan Kramer (NLD) - 237.5 cm

• 1933–July 1940 - Robert Wadlow (USA) – the tallest man ever - 272 cm (final height, passed the 245-cm mark in 1935)

• July 1940–1959 - Väinö Myllyrinne (FIN) - 251 cm

• 1959–Aug 1969 - John Carroll (USA) - 263.5 cm (adjusted figure, standing height 243.8 cm)

• Aug 1969–Feb 1981 - Donald Koehler (USA) - 248.9 cm

• Feb 1981–Feb 1982 - Zeng Jinlian (CHN) - 246.3 cm

• Feb 1982–Jan 1990 - Gabriel Estavao Monjane (MOZ) - 245.7 cm

• Jan 1990–Jul 1998 - Mohammad Alam Channa (PAK) - 231.7 cm / Sandy Allen (USA) - 231.7 cm

• Jul 1998–Jan 2005 - Radhouane Charbib (TUN) - 235.9 cm

• Jan 2005–Feb 2009 - Bao Xishun (CHN) - 236.1 cm

• Feb 2009–present - Sultan Kösen (TUR) - 246.5 cm (initially), 251 cm (from Feb 2011)