John Rogan

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John "Bud" Rogan
Born(1867-02-12)February 12, 1867
DiedSeptember 11, 1905(1905-09-11) (aged 38)
Other namesWillie, Bud Rogan, The Negro Giant (Alias)
Occupation(s)Salesman, Artist, Sharecropper
Known forSecond tallest man in history, tallest African-American ever recorded.
Height8 ft 9 in (267 cm)
RelativesWilliam Rogan (Father)

John William "Bud" Rogan February 12 1867 – September 11, 1905; some sources indicate 1867, 1868 and 1871 as his birth year[1]) is recorded as the second-tallest person ever at 8 feet 9 inches (267 cm), behind only Robert Wadlow.


Bud Rogan on his cart driven by his goats, in Gallatin, TN.
Bud Rogan.

John Rogan was born in Hendersonville, Tennessee. He was the son of the former slave William Rogan, as the fourth of twelve children. His rapid growth began at the age of 13, due to gigantism.[2] This led to ankylosis[3] (an abnormal rigidity of the skeletal joints). By 1882, he could not stand or walk.

Although unable to perform physical labor due to his condition, Rogan made a living by selling portraits and postcards at a train station. An 1897 article in the Kansas City Journal mentions that a number of his drawings were published. He declined all offers to join carnivals and sideshows.

In 1899, he was measured at 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m), then tied with Franz Winkelmeier as the tallest person ever at the time. He weighed between 175 pounds (79 kg)[1] and 205 pounds (93 kg), often billed in newspapers as the "negro giant" and "living skeleton".[4] He used a goat-pulled cart like a wheelchair and was always the center of attention, often noted for his deep voice and playful attitude.[citation needed]

Rogan's hands measured 11 in (28 cm) in length and his feet measured 13 in (33 cm) in length.[1] Around the time of his death he measured 8 ft 9 in. He was the tallest person of African descent and the second tallest person on record. Robert Wadlow's height surpassed Rogan's in 1939. A newspaper article said his maternal grandfather was also a giant, requiring a larger saddle when he rode horses, hinting at a possible genetic inheritance.[1]

Rogan died on September 11, 1905, due to complications to his condition. The area of his burial is believed to be on old Rogan farmland. Evidence assumes that he was in fact buried there as previous rumors suggest they took him back to their place after his death and buried him in an unmarked grave, covering him in a cement vault.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Lackey, William (July 1899). "Akromegaly". The Philadelphia Medical Journal: 172–174.
  2. ^ Mason, Mark (2018). The book of seconds. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 9781474608473.
  3. ^ Phillips, Betsy (7 March 2017). "Bud Rogan, the 8-Foot-8 Gallatin Giant". Nashville Scene. South Nashville, Tennessee: FW Publishing. Archived from the original on 9 August 2022. Retrieved 9 August 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Giant Negro - The Living Skeleton who was all bones is now dead". Mainsfield Daily Shield. October 1905.
Preceded by Tallest recognized person
Succeeded by
Preceded by Tallest recognized person ever
Succeeded by