Igor Vovkovinskiy, the tallest living man in the United States, who was born in Ukraine, died of heart disease on Friday Aug. 20, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, according to his family. Svetlana Vovkovinska, a Mayo Clinic ICU nurse, announced his death on Facebook.
Vovkovinskiy sought therapy at the Mayo Clinic as a youngster in 1989. His pituitary gland secreted abnormal quantities of growth hormone as a result of a tumor pushing against it. He grew to be the tallest man in the United States, standing at 7ft 8.33in (2.35m), and he settled in Rochester.
Because of his height and the lingering cold war in the late 1980s, his elder brother, Oleh Ladan of Brooklyn Park, told the press that Vovkovinskiy was a celebrity when he arrived from Ukraine. Vovkovinskiy, on the other hand, “would have rather lived a normal life than be known.”
In 2009, Vovkovinskiy went on the Dr. Oz Show and was met by Barack Obama at a campaign event when the president saw him near the platform wearing a T-shirt that said “World’s Biggest Obama Supporter.”
In 2013, he brought the Ukrainian competitor onto the Eurovision Song Contest stage to sing.
Vovkovinskiy came to New York at the age of 27, and was named America’s tallest living person on Oz’s show by a Guinness World Records adjudicator. He beat a Virginia sheriff’s officer by a third of an inch.
Sultan Kösen of Turkey is the world’s tallest man, according to Guinness World Records. He was measured at more than 8ft 2in in 2016.
The tallest individual ever documented was Illinois’ Robert Pershing Wadlow, who was 8ft 11in tall. He died at the age of 22 in 1940 from a bacterial blister on his right ankle caused by an ill-fitting brace.
Vovkovinskiy launched an appeal for aid in 2012, asking for help to afford the projected $16,000 cost of specially designed shoes that would not cause him excruciating agony.
He claimed at the time that he hadn’t owned a pair that fit his feet, which were a size 26 10E, in years. Thousands of others contributed more than double the amount he needed. The bespoke sneakers were given by Reebok for free.
According to Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home, Vovkovinskiy was born on Sept. 8, 1982, in Bar, Ukraine, to Vovkovinska and Oleksandr Ladan. A memorial service will be held on Saturday. His father had passed away previously.