2:01 PM PDT, August 24, 2021
The tallest man in the United States, Igor Vovkovinskiy, has died. He passed away from heart disease, according to his mother.
At 7 feet 8 and a third inches, Igor was certified by Guinness World Records as the US’ tallest man in 2010.
He came to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota from Ukraine in 1989 because a tumor pressing against his pituitary gland caused it to secrete excessive amounts of growth hormone.
Over the years, Igor seemed to delight in his height and the reaction people had to him.
In 2009 he stood out from the crowd at a rally for President Obama, wearing a shirt that read World’s Biggest Obama Supporter. That earned him a handshake from the president.
And in 2011, he had a small role in the film “Hall Pass.”
But Igor had his struggles, especially when it came to finding comfortable clothing and shoes. In 2012 he put out a plea for donations to have specialty shoes made so he can walk without pain.
“I have basically been a prisoner of my own home,” Igor once said. “Even though I am medically cleared to walk, where am I going to go in shoes that are so painful?”
While thousands of people donated to his cause, Reebok gave him the shoes for free.
He also appeared on Anderson Cooper’s daytime talk show, where he was gifted with a tailor-made wardrobe.
Igor was known around his Minnesota community as a gentle giant and will not soon be forgotten. He was 38 years old.