John Rogan

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John W. Rogan
Born (1868-02-16)February 16, 1868
Hendersonville, Tennessee
Died September 12, 1905(1905-09-12) (aged 37)
Gallatin, Tennessee
Cause of death Ankylosis
Nationality American
Known for Second tallest person in history
Height 2.67 m (8 ft 9 in)
Weight 205 lb (93 kg)

John William Rogan (February 16, 1868 – September 12, 1905) was an American man who was the tallest person ever recorded until passed by Robert Wadlow.


Rogan, the son of William Rogan, a former slave, was born in Hendersonville, Tennessee, on February 16, 1868. He was the fourth of twelve children. He began to grow very rapidly at the age of 13,[1] leading to ankylosis. The disease hindered, and by 1882, he could not stand or walk. 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 by using a goat cart like a wheelchair that was pulled by goats, and he was always the center of attention, often noted for his deep voice and playful attitude. Although unable to perform physical labor because of his ankylosis, he made a living by selling portraits and postcards at a train station and, as noted in an 1897 article in the Kansas City Journal, had a number of his drawings published. Despite his success in this regard, he declined all offers to join the carnival and side shows. Rogan's hands measured 11.5 in (29 cm) in length and his feet measured 13.7 in (35 cm) in length. He grew to 2.67 m (8.8 ft) tall but weighed only 205 pounds. Rogan is the tallest person of African descent, and remains the second tallest person on record, surpassed only by Robert Wadlow.

Rogan died on September 12, 1905, due to complications from his ankylosis.

See also[edit]


Preceded by
Tallest recognized person
Succeeded by
Unknown: Closest is Bernard Coyne
Preceded by
Trijntje Keever (alleged, disputed)
Tallest recognized person ever
Succeeded by
Robert Wadlow