Share This Page

World's tallest woman dies in China at age 39

| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 6:50 a.m.
In this May 12, 2006, file photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Yao Defen, right, who is 7 feet and 7 inches tall, poses for a photo with her elder brother in a hospital affiliated to Anhui Medical University where she is having a physical examination, in Hefei, the capital of east China's Anhui Province. Yao died in eastern China. She was 39. Chinese state media say Yao died on Nov. 13, 2012, at her home in China’s eastern province of Anhui. Xinhua News Agency

BEIJING — The world's tallest woman has died in eastern China. She was 39.

Chinese state media say Yao Defen died on Nov. 13 at her home in China's eastern province of Anhui.

Guinness World Records in January 2010 had certified her as the world's tallest living woman at 7 feet and 7 inches.

The local Xin'an Evening News did not give the cause of death but said in a report that Yao suffered from gigantism, with a tumor on her pituitary gland disrupting her levels of growth hormone. A government official in her county who gave only his surname, Liu, confirmed Yao's death on Wednesday.

The Xin'an newspaper said Yao learned to play basketball when young, and that she was 6 feet and 7 inches tall by the age of 15.

In a Chinese-language video from three years ago, Yao expressed anguish at her unusual height.

“I am very unhappy. Why am I this tall?” she said from her bed. “If I were not this tall, others would not look at me like this.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.