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Inside the life of the world’s tallest man: How 8ft 3ins Turkish giant Sultan Kosen, 41, married Syrian woman 2ft 7in shorter than him only to divorce her over ‘language barrier’… and now he travels the world looking for love


Sultan Kosen is the world’s tallest man at a staggering 8 feet 3 inches – but he has long refused to let his extraordinary height stand in his way.

The globetrotting giant has visited more than 120 countries and counting, enjoys celebrity status and has worked as a farmer, circus performer and honorary ambassador to his native Turkey.

The 41-year-old owes his staggering height to a rare condition called pituitary gigantism, which causes his body to continually produce growth hormones.

He is one of only ten people to ever top 8ft, and was awarded the Guinness World Record for being the tallest man alive in 2009.

Kosen has since appeared alongside the world’s smallest woman, Jyoti Amge, who is just 2ft tall, first meeting at Egypt‘s pyramids six years ago before reuniting in California earlier this week.

While Kosen’s height – equivalent to that of a small giraffe – has brought him fame and a jetset lifestyle, he has also had to deal with its downsides throughout his life.

Sadly, true love has eluded Kosen, whose marriage to a Syrian woman 2ft 7in shorter than him ended in divorce due to their language barrier. His heartbreak prompted him to set out on a world tour in search of Mrs Right.

Kosen and Amge smiled happily as they posed for pictures together yesterday

Kosen and Amge smiled happily as they posed for pictures together yesterday

Kosen, 41, and Amge, 30, previously met for a photoshoot in Cairo, Egypt , in 2018, where they posed in front of the Giza Pyramids as part of a campaign to revive the country's struggling tourism industry

Kosen, 41, and Amge, 30, previously met for a photoshoot in Cairo, Egypt , in 2018, where they posed in front of the Giza Pyramids as part of a campaign to revive the country’s struggling tourism industry

According to the Guinness World Records, Kosen is the first person in more than a decade to measure over 8ft and is one of only 10 confirmed cases in history. He earned the record title in 2009 (pictured above)

According to the Guinness World Records, Kosen is the first person in more than a decade to measure over 8ft and is one of only 10 confirmed cases in history. He earned the record title in 2009 (pictured above)

Kosen's marriage to a Syrian woman 2ft 7in shorter than him ended in divorce due to a language barrier

Kosen’s marriage to a Syrian woman 2ft 7in shorter than him ended in divorce due to a language barrier

Kosen began shooting up at the age of ten, became the tallest man in the world in 2009 and finally stopped growing in 2011.

He is one of five siblings, with the rest of his family all ‘normal’ sized. 

As a teenager, Kosen signed up for his local basketball team, but was told he was too tall to play. He has since cheered on his favourite sport from the sidelines.

His height also forced him to quit school and work part-time as a farmer.

While his height held him back as a youngster, recognition of his uniqueness helped to turn his life around.

On his first visit to the UK in September 2009, he said that he hoped his newfound fame would change his life, and help him find a wife.

‘It’s really difficult to find a girlfriend. They are usually scared of me. Hopefully now that I’m famous I’ll be able to meet lots of girls. My dream is to be married.’ 

He managed to fulfil this wish when he married Syrian woman Merve Dibo in 2013.

He gushed at the time: ‘When I looked into her eyes, I knew it was love’. 

His bride, who was 20 when they tied the knot, said: ‘At first everyone around me told me not to marry him because of his height, but I fell in love with his heart, not his height. His height doesn’t bother me at all.’

The couple later got a divorce in 2021, citing a language barrier – with him only speaking Turkish and his wife only speaking Arabic – as the biggest problem in their relationship.

Kosen’s quest for love continued as he travelled around the world, with his first stop being Moscow, where he had hoped to find a new wife to have a son and a daughter with.

He then moved his search to America, and has been to 127 of the world’s 195 countries, with no sign that his world tour will end any time soon.

The world's tallest man poses with shortest man in the world in 2010

The world’s tallest man poses with shortest man in the world in 2010

Chandra Bahadur Dangi, from Nepal, (L) the shortest adult to have ever been verified by Guinness World Records, is pictured with the world's tallest man Sultan Kosen from Turkey in 2014

Chandra Bahadur Dangi, from Nepal, (L) the shortest adult to have ever been verified by Guinness World Records, is pictured with the world’s tallest man Sultan Kosen from Turkey in 2014

The World's tallest man Sultan Kosen (R) poses with his fiancee Merve Dibo during their henna night, the ceremony held one day before the wedding, on October 26, 2013

The World’s tallest man Sultan Kosen (R) poses with his fiancee Merve Dibo during their henna night, the ceremony held one day before the wedding, on October 26, 2013

As well as travelling in the pursuit of love, Kosen toured the Indian Ocean as part of a circus troupe, charging punters $10 to take a picture with him.

‘There must be thousands of acrobats and jugglers in the world but when you start talking about Sultan Kosen, you are talking about only one out of 7 billion people on this planet,’ Bruno Loyale, the CEO and ringmaster of the circus told local media. 

He also had a cooking show in Romania, which he is said to have taken part in.

Always one to look on the bright side, Kosen has said his height offers a number of advantages.

He said as a young man that he was able help out his mum out with jobs such as changing a broken light bulb and hanging curtains.

The disadvantages his height brings include not being able to find clothes or shoes that fit.

He has a custom-made 10ft bed and shoes to fit his feet – the world’s second largest.

He previously held the world record for having the largest feet on a living person, with his left foot measuring 36.5 cm (1 ft 2 in) and right foot measuring 35.5 cm (1 ft 1.98 in).

But this Guinness World Record was taken over by big-footed Jeison Orlando Rodríguez Hernández, whose feet measure in at 40.55 cm (1.33 ft) and 40.47 cm (1.32 ft).

Kosen also has the record for largest hands on a living person, with each one measuring 28.5 cm (11.22 in) from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger.

A striking image shows Amge standing on Kosen's lap while he was sitting in a chair - but despite stretching up high, the world's smallest woman only reached up to his collarbone

A striking image shows Amge standing on Kosen’s lap while he was sitting in a chair – but despite stretching up high, the world’s smallest woman only reached up to his collarbone

Last year, a wannabe tallest man tried to claim the title for himself, but official measurements of the man and Kosen quickly proved who the winner was.

Beanpole Sulemana, 29, gained attention across the world last year after doctors estimated his height at 9ft 6in at a rural clinic in Ghana, where the staff lacked the correct equipment to measure him. 

The 29-year-old was later measured and found to be just 7ft 4in.

A triumphant Kosen flaunted his tallest man certificate in response to the failed attempt to take his title, which he has now held for 15 years.

‘I will not lose my record to anyone,’ he proudly told reporters. ‘I’m determined about it.’



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