Al Tomaini

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Al Tomaini
Born Aurelio Tomaini
(1912-02-25)February 25, 1912
Long Branch, New Jersey, USA
Died August 30, 1962(1962-08-30) (aged 50)
Gibsonton, Florida, USA
Cause of death
Pituitary tumor
Nationality  Italian American
Occupation Sideshow performer
Board member of
Chamber of Commerce
Spouse(s) Evelyn Jeannie Smith Tomaini (m. 1936–62)
Children 2 adopted daughters
Parent(s) Santo Tomaini (father)
Maria Bossone (mother)
Relatives Alex Tomaini (grandson)
PJ McDonnell (Grand Nephew)
JP McDonnell (Grand Nephew

Al Tomaini (1912-1962), born Aurelio Tomaini, was a claimant to being the world's tallest individual. Tomaini claimed a height of 8 feet, 6½ inches; however, Guinness World Records stated he was really 7 feet, 11 inches.

Tomaini was the son of Santo Tomaini and Maria Bossone. He was one of seven children. At the age of 12, he was taller than his father, who stood 6 feet, 1 inch tall. He had a great-grandfather in Italy who was also of abnormal height. His parents consulted a physician who, through the use of X-rays, discovered the cause of his giantism to be an over-active pituitary gland.

Weighing 356 pounds and wearing size 27 shoes, Tomaini spent most of his life as a sideshow performer. He was working in a circus at the Great Lakes Exposition in Cleveland in 1936, when he met his future wife, Jeanie. She was born without legs and was only 2 feet, 5 inches tall. After eloping from the circus, the couple settled in the circus community of Gibsonton, Florida. There he became active in community affairs, donating the town's first ambulance, serving as fire chief, helping build the community hall, and serving as president of the Chamber of Commerce. He was owner and operator of Giants Cam lodge and Fish Camp, a TV repair shop, and a tourist trailer court. His death in 1962 at age 50 came after extensive treatment for a pituitary tumor.

Although he was referred to as the "World's Tallest Man", the Guinness Book of World Records identifies that titleholder as Robert Pershing Wadlow, who was 8 feet, 11.1 inches tall.[1]


  1. ^ Guinness Book of World Records "Tallest man" entry

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