Sultan Kösen: Tallest living man

In 2009, Sultan Kösen became the first man over 8 ft tall to be measured by Guinness World Records for more than 20 years. 📏

The part-time farmer from Turkey was found to be a towering 246.5 cm (8 ft 1 in), taking the iconic title of tallest living man.

Two years later, 26-year-old Sultan was measured again. He had grown even more, now standing 251 cm (8 ft 3 in)! 😲

Growing up...and up!

Sultan was born on 10 December 1982, but he didn’t start his incredible growth spurt until he was 10 years old.

Sultan's super size is caused by a condition known as "pituitary gigantism" - the effects of which can cause huge hands, extra thick bones and painful joints. 🦴

Because he was so big, Sultan was never able to finish school and instead began working as a farmer to help out his family. 👨‍🌾

Sultan described one of the advantages of being tall as being able to help his mum out with jobs such as changing a broken light bulb and hanging curtains. 

There are disadvantages too. It’s hard for Sultan to find clothes that fit him, and it’s even harder for him to fit inside a car! 🚙

Sultan takes part in a photoshoot for the Guinness World Records book

I never imagined I would be in the Guinness World Records book, I dreamed about it, but it was still a huge surprise.

- Sultan Kösen

Breaking records

Sultan also holds the record for largest hands on a living person, each one measuring 28.5 cm (11.22 in) from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger.

He previously held the record for largest feet on a living person, with his left foot measuring 36.5 cm (1 ft 2 in) and right foot measuring 35.5 cm (1 ft 1.98 in). 

During his first ever visit to London, UK, in September 2009, Sultan revealed his one wish in life – to find a wife. 

"It’s really difficult to find a girlfriend. They are usually scared of me. Hopefully now that I'm famous I'll be able to meet lots of girls. My dream is to be married."

Living life to its fullest

Sultan Kösen’s name was now recognised everywhere around the globe and he had become famous for his extraordinary height. 🤩

In the years that followed, many good things happened in the gentle giant’s life:

  • Sultan received free life-saving surgery to stop his non-stop growth. 👨‍⚕️
  • Sultan got the chance to travel the world. ✈️
  • Sultan got married. 💍
  • Sultan finally got lots of clothes that fit properly! 👕

The world’s tallest man also went on to appear in Hollywood movies and perform with the Magic Circus of Samoa. 🧙‍♂️

Sultan’s amazing life story continues to inspire people all over the globe. 🌎

Sultan meets the shortest man ever, Chandra Dangi, in 2015

Sultan meets the shortest man ever, Chandra Dangi, in 2015

 Sultan Kösen appears in Guinness World Records 2022 as part of our Hall of Fame.

Find out more about GWR 2022