Sultan Kösen; born 10 December 1982 in Mardin, Turkey) holds the Guinness World Record for tallest living male at 2.51 m (8 ft 3 in). His growth has resulted from a tumour affecting his pituitary gland. His stature is such that he must use crutches in order to walk.
Kösen lives with his parents, three brothers and sister, who are all of normal height. He was unable to complete his schooling because of his height and works part-time as a farmer. Despite his height he claims to enjoy a normal lifestyle and enjoys playing computer games with his friends. He describes the advantages of being tall as seeing a great distance, being able to help his family with domestic jobs such as changing light bulbs and hanging curtains. He lists disadvantages as not being able to find clothes (inside leg measuring 44.5 inches (113 cm) and sleeve length measuring 38 inches (97 cm)) or shoes (size 28) that fit or finding it extremely hard to fit into an average-sized car.
Starting in 2010, Kösen received Gamma Knife treatment for his pituitary tumour at the University of Virginia Medical School and has also been provided with medication to control his excessive levels of growth hormone. Although the full effect of the treatment takes up to two years, as of 2011, his hormone levels were almost normal. It was confirmed in March 2012 that the treatment had been effective in halting Kösen’s growth.
Bao Xishun also known as Xi Shun or “The Big Guy (simplified Chinese: 鲍喜顺; traditional Chinese: 鮑喜順; pinyin: Bào Xǐshùn) (born 1951) is a Mongols herdsman from Inner Mongolia, China, who was recognized by Guinness World Records as one of the world’s tallest living men. Guinness World Records had returned the title of world’s tallest man to him after Ukrainian Leonid Stadnyk took over the title briefly. After Stadnyk refused to be measured under new guidelines, which required him to be independently measured by Guinness World Records’s adjudicators, the title was returned to Xishun.
On September 17, 2009, Turk Sultan Kösen overtook Bao Xishun as the tallest living man in the world, when he was measured by Guinness World Records.
Bao Xishun worked at the Chifeng City local Hospital for several months, during which time he was measured to be 2.36 metres (7 ft 9 in). Bao suffers from rheumatism, although this has been attributed to his childhood habit of sleeping outdoors, rather than a height-linked disorder.
Bao Xishun claims to have been of normal height until he was sixteen years old when he experienced a growth spurt for unknown reasons and reached his present height seven years later. Bao served in the People’s Liberation Army for three years, and played for the army basketball team until his rheumatism began to appear, leading to his discharge from the army. Following this, he returned to Inner Mongolia to live with his mother.
At the age of 45, he became withdrawn after the death of his mother until he was offered a job as a greeter at a restaurant. He quickly gained attention from the local media, who applied to Guinness World Records on his behalf. He was measured and found to be 2 mm taller than the previous record holder, Radhouane Charbib.
In December 2006, Bao Xishun was asked by veterinarians to assist them in removing shards of plastic from the stomachs of two dolphins. The dolphins had accidentally swallowed the shards, which had settled in their stomachs and caused a loss of appetite and depression. Veterinarians had failed to remove them, so Bao Xishun used his 1.06-metre long arms to reach into the dolphins’ stomachs, to remove the plastic manually. (A similar operation was performed by American basketball player Clifford Ray, who was asked to use his long arms to save a California dolphin in 1978.)
Bao Xishun married saleswoman Xia Shujuan on March 24, 2007. The Mongolian ceremony (sponsored by at least 15 companies) took place on July 12, 2007 at the Genghis Khan holiday resort on the grasslands near Ordos City. Bao’s surname indicates that he belongs to the same paternal lineage as Genghis Khan’s clan, Borjigin. Amongst the guests was fellow Inner-Mongolian and the shortest man in the world, He Pingping. Xishun’s daughter was born at a hospital in Zunhua, Hebei province October 2, 2008. Bao appeared on the eleventh episode of The Amazing Race 16 as the pitstop greeter. The episode aired on May 2nd 2010. He was considered to be the world’s tallest man at the time of filming, but a few days later, Sultan Kösen was measured by the Guinness Book of World Records and declared to be the tallest