John Rogan

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For other people named John Rogan, see John Rogan (disambiguation).
John Rogan II
Due to ankylosis, Rogan lost the ability to stand or walk.
Born c. 1868
Sumner County, Tennessee, U.S.
Died September 12, 1905 (aged 37)
Sumner County, Tennessee, U.S.
Cause of death
Known for Second tallest verified human being
Height 8 ft 9.5 in (2.680 m)
Weight 175 lb (79 kg)

John William "Bud" Rogan (c. 1865-68 – September 12, 1905) is one of 17 known people in medical history to reach a height of 8 feet (2.44 m) or more and also the second tallest person ever recorded, after Robert Wadlow.


Rogan, the son of William Rogan, a former slave, was born in Sumner County, Tennessee, between 1865 and 1868. He was the fourth of twelve children. The identity of his genetic mother remains unknown. Rogan began to grow very rapidly at the age of 13,[1] leading to ankylosis. Already accustomed to walking only with the aid of crutches, by 1882, he could not stand or walk at all. By 1899, he had grown to a height of 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m) and often appeared in newspapers, referred to as the "Negro giant". He got around on a goat cart he had made for himself and was always the center of attention, often noted for his deep voice and playful attitude. Although he could not work, he made a living by selling portraits and postcards of himself at the train station and, as noted in a 1897 article in the Kansas City Journal, had had a number of his drawings published. Despite his success in this regard, he declined all offers to join the carnival and side shows. Shortly before he developed ankylosis, Rogan was 8 feet 6 inches (2.59 m) tall and weighed 300 lbs. The disease hindered and eventually ended his ability to walk, eventually prompting the use of the goat cart.[2]

Rogan's hands measured 11 inches (28 cm) in length and his feet measured 13 inches (33 cm) in length. He continued to grow until his death; his exact height was not measured until after his death. At that time he measured 8 ft 9 in (2.67 m) tall,[3][4] but weighed only 175 pounds (79 kg), making him the tallest person of African descent, and the second tallest person ever recorded, exceeded only by Robert Wadlow.

Rogan died in 1905 from complications of his disease. His body was buried in the family yard under solid concrete to prevent anyone from exhuming and examining his body.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (November 2009). The Ultimate Book of Top Ten Lists: A Mind-Boggling Collection of Fun, Fascinating and Bizarre Facts on Movies, Music, Sports, Crime, Celebrities, History, Trivia and More. Ulysses Press. p. 536. ISBN 978-1-56975-715-4. 
  2. ^ "John William Rogan – 8 feet 8 inches (264 cm)". Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Durham, Walter; James Thomas (1986). A Pictorial History of Sumner County, Tennessee, 1786-1986. Sumner County TN Historical Society. p. 93. 
  4. ^ Biography and family history of John Rogan, as compiled by the University of South Florida Africana Heritage Project
Preceded by
Tallest Recognized Person
1896? - 1905
Succeeded by
Unknown: Closest is Bernard Coyne
Preceded by
Trijntje Keever (alleged, disputed)
Tallest Recognized Person ever
Succeeded by
Robert Wadlow