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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sandy Allen - World's Tallest Woman, Passes Away at Age 53

Fellow Hoosier and World's Tallest Woman, Sandy Allen died today at age 53. Ms. Allen lived about 17 miles from us in a Shelbyville, Indiana nursing home.

At 7 foot 7 1/4 inches, Ms. Allen was listed by the Guiness World Records as the tallest living woman.

The following was at the Guinness World Records site.

Sandy Allen has sadly passed away.

We have been informed that Sandy Allen has sadly passed away this morning. Sandy held the record for tallest living woman since 1975, standing at 2 m 31.7 cm (7 ft 7.25 in) until today. Sandy was an amazing and inspiring record holder and will be missed by all of us at Guinness World Records.

Our thoughts are with her friends and family at this time.

Sandy’s death leaves the category of tallest woman open.

From Indystar.com:

Funeral arrangements were pending at Murphy-Parks Funeral Services in Shelbyville.

Allen, who is 7-foot-7 1/4, is listed by the Guiness World Records as the tallest living woman.

Sandy Allen was a 6.5-pound baby, and her abnormal growth began soon after her birth in June 1955. By the age of 10, she stood 6-3 tall, and was 7-1 by age 16, according to the Guiness Web site.

A tumor on her pituitary gland caused her abnormal growth, said Rose, who is publishing a book about Allen's high school days in Shelbyville. The tumor was removed in 1977.

Sandy had a dream to break free of a world that she felt she had outgrown. In her first letter to Guinness World Records in 1974 she wrote: "I would like to get to know someone that is approximately my height. It is needless to say my social life
is practically nil and perhaps the publicity from your book may
brighten my life," Guiness World Records reported.

The accolade did help to bring about a reversal of fortunes for the Indiana secretary.

First, there was an offer from film director Federico Fellini to take a role in his film "Casanova" in 1975, and then her first date with a 7-foot Illinois man.

Poor circulation and weak leg muscles meant she was dependent on a wheelchair, and Rose said Allen had had health struggles since June.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Sandy Allen Scholarship Fund at the Blue River Community Foundation, 54 W. Broadway, Shelbyville, IN 46176. Make checks payable to the foundation with "Sandy Allen Scholarship Fund" in the memo line. The scholarship will benefit Shelbyville Senior High School.