Eugene Wadlow was the brother of Robert Wadlow, the tallest man to have ever walked on earth. He was born on April 26, 1922, in Roxana, Madison County, Illinois, to Harold Franklin Wadlow Sr and Addie May Johnson. Eugene had four siblings: Robert, Helen, Betty, and Harold Franklin Wadlow Jr.
Education and Career
Eugene Wadlow used to go to school with his older brother Robert Wadlow. His brother attended Alton High School, so he probably studied in the same school. After high school, Eugene joined college to pursue a career of his choice; it is unclear what course he took. Little is known about what Eugene did to earn a living, but given he was married and probably had children, he had to do something to provide for his family.
A month before turning 24, Eugene Wadlow married Lois Mae French. He lived with his wife in Wood River, Illinois, USA, until his death. There is no mention of any children, but given that they were together for thirteen years, they probably had some children.
Robert Wadlow was the eldest child in their family. He grew throughout his life due to pituitary gland hypertrophy, which resulted in high growth hormone levels. In elementary school, Eugene’s brother was the eldest student; at eight, he had already passed his father in height. The school had to make a special desk for him.
Upon completing high school, Robert Wadlow was 2.5 meters tall. Despite his tall stature, Eugene’s brother never used a wheelchair to move around; all he needed were leg braces. Due to his height, Robert Wadlow became a celebrity; people could not stop staring at him while he was on tour with Ringling Brothers Circus in 1936.
Eugene Wadlow’s brother worked with several companies in promoting and advertising their products. He worked with the International Shoe Company in 1938; he wore his everyday clothes during the promotional tour. The company gave him shoes for free. Eugene’s brother was also part of the Order of DeMolay.
By 1939, Eugene’s brother was the tallest man on earth after passing John Rogan, who then held the record for the tallest man. In July 1940, Robert Wadlow made his last professional appearance and became ill.
Illness and Death of Eugene’s Brother
Eugene Wadlow’s brother was full of life and energy until the last days of his life. He had an infection and went for a check-up; it was determined that one of his leg braces had irritated his ankle resulting in the illness. Robert Wadlow underwent surgery and a blood transfusion, but his health deteriorated.
Eugene’s brother died on July 15, 1940, aged 22. By the time of his death, he measured 272cm. Robert Wadlow was buried at the Oakwood Cemetery. As per Guinness World Records, he is the tallest man ever. In 1986, a statue of Eugene’s brother was erected opposite the Robert Wadlow Museum.
Eugene Wadlow died on July 24, 1959, aged 37. His cause of death was not mentioned, but he was probably ill. Eugene was buried at the Oakwood Cemetery in Alton, Illinois, United States of America.