Sandy Allen

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Sandy Allen
World's tallest woman, Sandy Allen, Boardwalk.jpg
Sandy on the Wildwood New Jersey boardwalk in 1978.
Sandra Elaine Allen

(1955-06-18)June 18, 1955
Chicago, Illinois, United States
DiedAugust 13, 2008(2008-08-13) (aged 53)
Shelbyville, Indiana, United States
OccupationActress, writer
Known forFormer tallest woman in the world

Sandra Elaine Allen (June 18, 1955 – August 13, 2008) was an American woman recognized by the Guinness World Records as the tallest woman in the world.[1][2] She was 7 feet 7 inches (231 cm) tall.[2]

Allen wrote a book, Cast A Giant Shadow. Although over the years other women have taken over the title, Allen had held it for the last sixteen years of her life. Her height was due to a tumor in her pituitary gland that caused it to release growth hormone uncontrollably. At the age of twenty-two years, she underwent surgery for the condition. Lacking this procedure, Allen would have continued to grow and suffer further medical problems associated with gigantism.[citation needed]

She appeared in Fellini's Casanova, in the TV movie Side Show, and in a Canadian/American documentary film Being Different. The New Zealand band Split Enz wrote a song about her, "Hello Sandy Allen," released on their 1982 album Time and Tide. Allen never married.[3]

In later years Allen used a wheelchair because her legs and back could not support her tall stature in a standing position. At one point in her life, she was bedridden due to disease, causing atrophy of the muscles. Due to this limitation, she spent her last years in Shelbyville, Indiana, in the same retirement center as Edna Parker, the record holder of oldest living human at the time.[4]

Allen died on August 13, 2008. A scholarship has since been dedicated in her name at Shelbyville High School.[3]


  1. ^ "World's Tallest Woman Dies at 53". ABC News. August 14, 2008. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Swaminathan, Nikhil. "What causes gigantism?". Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  3. ^ a b World's tallest woman, Sandy Allen, dies,; accessed June 28, 2017.
  4. ^

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Zeng Jinlian
Tallest Recognized Woman
Succeeded by
Yao Defen