Adam Rainer

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Adam Rainer
Adam Rainer (1899-1950) circa 1930.webp
Adam Rainer (left) and a man of average height
DiedMarch 4, 1950(1950-03-04) (aged 50–51)
Known forBeing both a dwarf and giant

Adam Rainer (1899 – 4 March 1950) was the only person in recorded history to have been both a dwarf and a giant.[1] He is believed to have had acromegaly.[2]



Adam Rainer was born in Graz, Austria-Hungary (present day Austria), in 1899.[3] As a child, Rainer was described as very small, thin, and weak. In 1917, at age 18, he was measured at 122.55 cm (4 ft 0.25 in). He therefore was refused entry into the Austro-Hungarian Army to take part in the First World War.[4] A typical defining characteristic of dwarfism is an adult height below 147 cm (4 ft 10 in).


Several years later, likely as a result of a pituitary tumor that was identified later, Rainer had a dramatic growth spurt. Between his early 20s to early 30s, he gained height at the average rate of 9.14 cm (3.16 in) per year.[5] By 1932 (aged 33), Rainer had reached a height of 218 cm (7 ft 2 in).[6] He went from US shoe size 10 (EUR size 43) at age 19 to size 20 (EUR 57.5) only three years later.[7]

Two doctors examined Rainer in detail between August 1930 and May 1931, at which time his height was 216 cm (7 ft 1 in). A benign pituitary adenoma was found, which was responsible for the enormous growth. Dr. Oskar Hirsch removed the adenoma.[4]

Prior to the removal of the tumor, Rainer had already been rendered weak and unable to stand due to his malfunctioning pituitary gland and the rapid growth that resulted. Shortly after the surgery Rainer entered a "home for the aged" where he resided for the remainder of his life.[3] When he died in 1950 on March 4 at the age of 51, he had reached a final height of 234 cm (7 ft 8 in).[8]


  1. ^ Guinness World Records, 2004.
  2. ^ "World's Littlest Giant: The Curious Case of Adam Rainer". 20 January 2015. Archived from the original on 6 February 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b Bellows, Alan. "The Man Who Was a Dwarf and a Giant",, 1 December 2005.
  4. ^ a b Hirsch, Oskar (1961). "Two Different Types of Gigantism Due to Similar Tumors. Discussion of Growth". Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. 21 (4): 345–356. doi:10.1159/000104531. PMID 13907711. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
  5. ^ Bellows, Alan. "The Man Who Was a Dwarf and a Giant",, 1 December 2005.
  6. ^ Hirsch, Obar. Two Types of Gigantism Due to Similar Tumors. Discussion of Growth* Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine Confinia Neurologica, Vol. 21, No. 4 (1961)
  7. ^ Fitzharris, Lindsey. "The Insane Story Of A Man Who Was Born A Dwarf And Died A Giant". Business Insider.
  8. ^ Adam Rainer Archived 2017-12-19 at the Wayback Machine at The Tallest Man