America's tallest man Igor Vovkovinskiy dies aged 38
Igor died of heart disease aged 38
Igor Vovkovinskiy, the tallest man in America, has died of heart disease at the age of 38.
Vovkovinskiy, who was born in Ukraine, was being treated at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, but died on 20 August.
His mother, Svetlana Vovkovinska, shared the news in a Facebook post and said that despite the pain Igor was in, he remained positive until the very end. She said Igor's older brother, Oleh was with him when he passed.
"His last dinner was: a piece of Kyiv cake and Fanta. A few hours before his death, he was accompanied by Oleh's wife Alla and children," she wrote.
"Igor was glad to see them, and although it was difficult for him to speak, he tried to joke about his nephew Andriy, whether he had learned the Ukrainian language in a month in Ukraine."
When Igor was 27, he was declared America's tallest living person by the Guinness World Records at a lofty 7ft 8in tall.
Oleh told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis that Igor had been a minor celebrity when he first moved to the US because of his height. He even made an appearance at Eurovision in 2013 as he carried the Ukrainian contestant onto the stage.
Remembering this gentle giant today. Igor Vovkovinskiy. America’s tallest man at 2.34m. He passed away from heart failure overnight. I met him in 2012. Igor’s unusual growth left him in constant pain; but he was deeply philosophical. And very funny. #IgorVovkovinskiy pic.twitter.com/k2v9EOjUSR
— Michael Usher (@michaelusher) August 24, 2021
But Oleh said his brother would "have rather lived a normal life than be known".
Igor lived with his mother in a house with special cathedral ceilings. Because of his height, Igor was never able to achieve his dream of becoming a lawyer.
He had also previously spoken about his desire to just "do simple things like maybe go window shopping at a mall."
A memorial service is due to be held at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes in Rochester at 2pm on Saturday (28 August).