Igor Vovkovinskiy, crowned the tallest living man in the US by Guinness World Records in 2010, died Friday at 38, said his mother, Svetlana Vovkovinska.
Vovkovinskiy was 7 feet, 8.33 inches tall, according to Guinness. He died in a hospital from heart disease with his mom and brother by his side, according to a Facebook post on Saturday by Svetlana. Just hours before his death, Vovkovinskiy was able to spend time with his brother’s family and had his last dinner, which was a piece of Kyiv cake and Fanta, his mother said.
Vovkovinskiy moved from Ukraine to Rochester, Minnesota, in 1989, for medical treatment, according to his Facebook page. He was born with pituitary gigantism, according to a TV segment he did on “The Dr. Oz Show” in 2010.
During that segment, Guinness World Record officials measured Vovkovinskiy’s height and crowned him the new Tallest Living Man in America. He was 27 years old at the time and beat out the previous record holder, Virginia deputy sheriff George Bell, by a third of an inch, according to Guinness.
“It feels good to finally have proof that I am the Tallest Man in America,” said Vovkovinskiy in 2010. “Everyone is always asking me if I’m certain that I’m the tallest and I was never able to prove it. Now that I have this certificate to hang on my wall, I could finally show it!”
He wore a shoe size 24 10-E, said Guinness, and faced daily challenges of fitting into cars and finding comfortable shoes.
His funeral home online obituary stated that the enjoyed spending time with friends and family, occasionally fishing and traveling. A memorial service will be on Saturday with a burial at a later date.
Guinness says the tallest living man in the world is Sultan Kosen from Turkey, who measures 8 feet, 2.8 in tall. The tallest man in medical history for whom there is irrefutable evidence is Robert Pershing Wadlow, according to Guinness. Wadlow was from Illinois and measured 8 feet, 11.1 in tall. He died in 1940.