Other Notable Deaths


August 14, 2008


World's tallest woman

A woman who grew to be 7 feet, 7 inches tall and was recognized as the world's tallest female died early yesterday, a friend said.

Sandy Allen, who used her height to inspire schoolchildren to accept those who are different, died at a nursing home in her hometown of Shelbyville, Ind., family friend Rita Rose said.

The cause of death was not known. Ms. Allen had been hospitalized in recent months as she suffered from a recurring blood infection, along with diabetes, breathing troubles and kidney failure, Ms. Rose said.

In London, Guinness World Records spokesman Damian Field confirmed yesterday that Ms. Allen was still listed as the tallest woman. Some Web sites point to a 7-foot-9 woman from China.

Ms. Allen lived in the same nursing home, Heritage House Convalescent Center, as 115-year-old Edna Parker, whom Guinness has recognized as the world's oldest person since August 2007.

Ms. Allen said a tumor caused her pituitary gland to produce too much growth hormone. She underwent an operation in 1977 to stop further growth.

Ms. Allen appeared on television shows and spoke to church and school groups to bring youngsters her message that it was all right to be different.

Ms. Allen weighed 6 1/2 pounds when she was born in June 1955. By the age of 10, she had grown to be 6 foot, 3 inches, and by age 16 she was 7-foot-1.

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