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Ted Evans

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Ted Evans (Ernest Edward Evans, 1924-1958) was the undisputed 'Tallest Man in Britain' during his lifetime, and in publicity material was frequently billed 'The Tallest Man Alive'. Although his height was often ludicrously exaggerated for effect to 'over 9 feet', he was in fact 7'8.5" (235 cm).

His story is an unusual one, for it is recorded that until the age of 14 Ted Evans was particularly slight - indeed it was said that he harboured an ambition to become a jockey. Only after he suffered a sporting injury did he begin to grow to his extraordinary height, medical opinion concluding that the glands regulating his growth had been in some way super-activated.

Unlike many who experience 'gigantism', Evans's general appearance was in perfect proportion to his height, and he maintained a good level of fitness. In the 1940s he began training to be a boxer, but ultimately succumbed to the proliferation of offers for him to work on the 'promotional circuit'.

While in the United States, he helped New York City to promote its 1953 'clean up the streets' campaign His appearance with a 20 foot long broom was a perfect adjunct to their slogan - 'Keeping New York City clean is a giant-sized job'.

But Ted Evans's unexpected celebrity was short-lived, for in keeping with many of great height, he died young. His last public appearance was in the Ringling Brothers show at Madison Square Garden, New York, in 1958. Punters paid a dollar to 'stand in line' and meet him in his booth, where he would allow them to remove an embossed ring from his huge finger.

He began to feel ill during his final stint there, but insisted the 'show must go on'. At the end of the run, he got into his car and drove from New York to Sarasota, in Florida. Feeling terribly ill on arrival, he was admitted to the Memorial Hospital there, where he died a few days later at the age of only 34.
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