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Sandy Allen: World’s Tallest Woman in Shelbyville

Sandy Elaine Allen shares the spotlight with fellow famous Shelbyville, Indiana resident Edna Parker, who is the world’s oldest human being. Sandy Allen died in August of 2008, at the age of 53.

Like Edna Parker, Sandy Allen also broke a world record. She had held the title of the world’s tallest woman in the Guinness Book of World Records since 1976, at 7′ 7ΒΌ inches. (The tallest ever recorded person, according the Guinness World Records, was Robert Pershing Wadlow, at 8’11.1″ tall.)

Many times, this kind of abnormal height is due to a condition called gigantism, usually caused by an excess of growth hormone during childhood. The was the case for Sandy Allen, but the cause, a pituitary gland tumor, was repaired when she was 22, giving her a better chance at life.

A video tribute to Sandy Allen, a record-breaking Shelbyville, Indiana resident

Sandy Allen was an attractive person, with regular features and an amenable character, despite being so different from those around her. She found her way in life, making all her own clothes to fit her 421-pound frame, and she bought her shoes, size 16eee, from a men’s king-size shoe store. Though by her own admission she never had a date in her life, she remained an affable human being until she died.

She worked as a stenographer at the state office building in Indianapolis, using a desk set on cinder blocks to accommodate her stature.

She was eventually stricken by disease with atrophied muscles, and was forced to use a wheelchair because her frame was too large to be supported by her back and legs. She spent the end of her life in the same retirement center as her famous fellow Shelbyville resident, Edna Parker, who outlived Sandy Allen by 65 years.


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