Lucía Zárate

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Lucia Zarate
Lucía Zárate.jpg
Photograph of Lucia Zarate
Born(1864-01-02)January 2, 1864
DiedJanuary 15, 1890(1890-01-15) (aged 26)
Cause of deathHypothermia
Known for"Lightest Recorded Adult"
Height24 in (61 cm)
Weight4.7 lb (2.1 kg)

Lucia Zarate (January 2, 1864 – January 15, 1890) was a Mexican entertainer with dwarfism who performed in sideshows. She was born in San Carlos Nuevo Guaymas, which is now the town of Ursulo Galvan, Veracruz, and settled on the Agostadero, now Cempoala, Veracruz, Mexico. Zarate is the first person to have been identified with Majewski osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type II.[1] She was entered into the Guinness World Records as the "lightest recorded adult", weighing 4.7 pounds (2.1 kg) at the age of 17.[2] According to an 1894 article in Strand Magazine, Zarate achieved her full growth by the age of one year.[3] Her family home, Casa Grande (Big House) is open to the public as a museum.[4]


At the age of twelve, Zarate moved from her native Mexico to the United States, where she was exhibited for her small stature. An 1876 book published by Oxford University discussed a visit to Zarate paid by several medical professionals, who could not certainly verify that she was twelve, but could ascertain through her dental development that she was at least six.[5] At the time, her height was measured at 20 inches (51 centimeters) tall and her calf was measured as 4 inches (100 mm) in circumference, 1 inch (25 mm) more than the thumb of an average adult man.[5] She was with her parents at the time and found to be healthy and intelligent, able to speak some English along with her native Spanish.[5]

She first worked as part of an act billed as the "Fairy Sisters", later partnering with Francis Joseph Flynn (billed under the stage name "General Mite") to exhibit internationally.[6] In 1889 she was billed in The Washington Post as the "marvelous Mexican midget" and described as "a tiny but all powerful magnet to draw the public."[7] After her circus train became stranded in the snowy Sierra Nevada mountains, Zarate died of hypothermia in 1890.[1][3]


  1. ^ a b Hall, Judith G., Christina Flora, Charles I. Scott, Jr., Richard M. Pauli, Kimi Tanak. (2004) "Majewski Osteodysplastic Primordial Dwarfism Type II (MOPD II): Natural History and Clinical Findings American Journal of Medical Genetics 130A:55-72.[dead link]
  2. ^ McFarlan, Donald, Norris McWhirter. (1988) 1989 Guinness Book of World Records. Bantam Books, 6. ISBN 0-553-27926-2.
  3. ^ a b "Giants and Dwarfs" in The Strand Magazine, G. Newnes, 1894. Originally published v.8, Jul-Dec 1894.
  4. ^ Museo Casa Grande
  5. ^ a b c Mason, James. The history of the year 1876, containing 'The Year book of facts' and 'The Annual summary'. Oxford University. pp. 4–5.
  6. ^ Sweet, Matthew (2001). Inventing the Victorians. Macmillan. pp. 149–150. ISBN 0-312-28326-1.
  7. ^ Staff (1889-02-25). "Uffner's royal American midgets". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-09-17.

External links[edit]

Link states her birth was around the year 1870, that she was only 6 years old when she started her career, not 12.

Preceded by
Shortest Recognized Woman ever
Succeeded by
Pauline Musters
Preceded by
Shortest Recognized adult human ever
Succeeded by
Pauline Musters