Eddie Carmel (March 16, 1936 – August 14, 1972) was an entertainer with gigantism and subsequent acromegaly resulting from a pituitary adenoma. Popularly known as "The Jewish Giant", Carmel was billed at the height of 8 ft 9 in (268 cm) and 9 ft 0.625 (276 cm) inches tall, though he may have more realistically been around 7 ft 3 tall. At the time of his death at age 36, he had shrunk several inches, due to kyphoscoliosis (curvature of the spine, a mixture of scoliosis, and kyphosis, meaning hunchback).
Oded Ha-Carmeili (Hebrew: עודד הכרמלי) was born in Tel Aviv, Mandatory Palestine, to American-Jewish immigrants. An only child, he was raised in the Bronx, New York, after his parents Itzhak and Miriam (née Pines) Ha-Carmeili relocated back to the United States when he was a young boy. "Eddie" was his nickname from his youth, and Carmel was a stage surname. He was made famous by photographer Diane Arbus' picture Jewish Giant, taken at Home with His Parents in the Bronx, N.Y. in 1970.
Due to his condition, his primary work was in carnival sideshows, including appearances at Hubert's Museum in Times Square and a few films such as 50,000 B.C. (Before Clothing) (1963), and The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962). He died at age 36, in Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, New York.
- "The Tallest Man - Eddie Carmel".
- "Eddie Carmel, 500-Pound Giant At Ringling Circus, Dies at 36". New York Times. July 31, 1972. p. 30. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
- The Jewish Giant A radio segment presented by SoundPortraits.org
- Eddie Carmel at the Internet Movie Database
- Eddie Carmel at Find A Grave.
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