ALTON, Ill. (WTVO) — While Illinois might only be the 25th biggest state, it is home to the biggest man in history.

Robert Wadlow, a native of Alton, Illinois, is the tallest man ever, according to Guinness World Records. At his peak height, he stood at a towering 8 feet 11 inches.

Wadlow was born on Feb. 22, 1918. The reason for Wadlow’s great height came from his pituitary gland being affected by a condition called hypertrophy, which meant that it was larger than usual. This lead to him being tall from an early age.

He was already 5 feet 7 inches by the time he was six years old. Wadlow passed the eight-foot mark when he was 16, making him the “tallest teenager ever” by the Guinness Book of World Records.

Wadlow passed away at age 22 on July 15, 1940. He had gotten a blood infection from the metal brace supports he wore on his ankle and leg while walking.