Shepparton News

Tallest man in US dies

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ROCHESTER: Igor Vovkovinsk­iy, the tallest man in the United States, has died in Minnesota aged 38.

His family says the Ukrainian-born Vovkovinsk­iy died of heart disease on Friday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

His mother, Svetlana Vovkovinsk­a, an ICU nurse at Mayo, initially posted about his death on Facebook. Vovkovinsk­iy went to the Mayo Clinic in 1989 as a child seeking treatment. A tumour pressing against his pituitary gland caused it to secrete abnormal levels of growth hormone. He grew to become the tallest man in the US at two metres, 34.5 centimetre­s.

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.

But Ladan said Vovkovinsk­iy ‘‘would have rather lived a normal life than be known’’.

When he was 27, Vovkovinsk­iy travelled to New York City and was declared America’s tallest living person by a Guinness World Records adjudicato­r on The Dr Oz Show.

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