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America's Tallest Man Has Died Aged 38

Dominic Smithers

| Last updated 

America's Tallest Man Has Died Aged 38

Featured Image Credit: PA

The tallest man in the United States has died aged 38.

Igor Vovkovinskiy, who stood at 7ft 8ins tall, was being treated at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, when he sadly died from heart disease on 20 August.

In a post shared to Facebook, his mother, Svetlana Vovkovinska, who is an ICU nurse at Mayo, said that despite the pain he was in, he remained positive until the very end.

She wrote: "Igor Vovkovinskiy Igor died on August 20 at 22:17 pm in hospital from heart disease. He and his older brother Oleh were with him until the end.

"His last dinner was: a piece of Kyiv cake and Fanta. A few hours before his death, he was accompanied by Oleh's wife Alla and children.

"Igor was glad to see them, and although it was difficult for him to speak, he tried to joke about his nephew Andriy, whether he had learned the Ukrainian language in a month in Ukraine."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Igor was born on 8 September 1982, in Bar, Ukraine, to Vovkovinska and Oleksandr Ladan.

He first came to the Mayo Clinic in 1989 for a tumour that had been pressing against his pituitary gland, creating abnormal levels of growth hormone.

When he was 27, he was declared America's tallest living person by the Guinness World Records.

His older brother, Oleh Ladan of Brooklyn Park, told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis that Vovkovinskiy was a celebrity when he arrived from Ukraine because of his size and the flickering Cold War of the late 1980s.

And in 2013, he carried the Ukrainian contestant onto the stage during the Eurovision Song Contest.

However, his father said that his son "would have rather lived a normal life than be known".

During an interview on 60 Minutes Australia, at the age of 29, Vovkovinskiy opened up about life for someone of his height.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

He said: "I always have to think about: Am I endangering my life? Nothing is built for my size so everything is a challenge."

Vovkovinskiy lived with his mother in a house that had special cathedral ceilings.

He graduated from Rochester's John Marshall High School and went on to do a two-year college degree from the city's community college.

However, despite it being his dream, his condition prevented him from becoming a lawyer.

In a plea to Facebook in 2012, Vovkovinskiy asked for help in covering the $16,000 cost for specially made shoes.

He revealed that it had been years since he owned a pair that fit his size 26 feet.

He said: "I'd like to do simple things like maybe go window shopping at a mall. I haven't done that in about four years. Maybe walk my dog, go fishing."

In the end, he raised more than double what he needed, with thousands offering their support.

A memorial service is due to be held at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes in Rochester at 2pm on Saturday (28 August).

Topics: US News, Funeral, Facebook

Dominic Smithers
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