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World's Tallest Man at 8 Ft 4 Inch Dies in Ukraine

A Ukrainian farmer, believed to be the world's tallest man at 8ft 4 inches, has died aged 44.

Leonid Stadnyk, from the Ukrainian village of Podoliantsy, died Sunday from a brain haemorrhage after health problems.

Stadnyk's feet measured almost 18 inches in length while his palms were more than a foot in diameter. He slept on a billiard table as the bed was not big enough for him.

However, he was too shy to be measured for the Guinness World record books, mirror.co.uk reported.

"To me, my height is a curse, a punishment from God, not something to celebrate," Stadnyk had said in an interview.

"I don't want or need the fame that this would bring so I have no desire to be in this Guinness book," he had said.

At the age of 12, a benign brain tumour over-stimulated Stadnyk's body's production of a growth hormone.

At one point, his condition, called gigantism, left him growing at the rate of roughly a foot every three years.

According to a Guinness World Records spokeswoman, Stadnyk was contacted but seemed like "a very shy guy."

"He doesn't want us around," she had said.

The Guinness record for the tallest living man in the world is held by Sultan Kosen of Turkey, who measured at 8ft 3 inches in February 2011.

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PLACES: Ukraine
SECTION: International
OUTLOOK 26 August, 2014
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