Fact Check

World's Tallest Woman

Photographs show the 'biggest woman in the world.'

Published Nov 14, 2002

Claim:   Photographs show the "biggest woman in the world," a 7'4" woman from Holland.

Status:   Real photographs; inaccurate description.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, 2001]

Biggest woman in the world: she is from Holland, measures a little over 7'4" and weighs 320 pounds ...

Big woman

Big woman

Big woman

Big woman

Origins:   "Biggest woman in the world"? Not quite. This is yet another case of an e-mail forward that includes real photographs but an inaccurate description of what they depict.

Heather Greene, the woman shown in the photographs above, is indeed a real person, but she's not from Holland, nor is she the tallest woman in

the world. Heather lives in Las Vegas, and although she is quite tall and passes the 7-foot mark in heels, she is "only" 6'-5½" in her stocking feet, well short of the record for the world's tallest woman.

The photographs sent around with the message quoted above are actually sample pictures taken from her web site, heatherhaven.com. The pictures are "real" in the sense that they have not been digitally manipulated, but they convey a false impression of Heather's true height because she is paired with people who are shorter than average (the man is 5'7" and the woman 5'1"), and she is posing in some of them while wearing shoes with several-inch heels.

From 1976 until her death in August 2008, the tallest living woman in the world (as recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records) was Sandy Allen of Shelbyville, Indiana, who reached a height of 7 feet 7-1/4 inches as a teenager before undergoing pituitary surgery to control her growth. (Some claim the title of World's Tallest Woman should now belong to Yao Defen of China, but her true height is a subject of dispute, with claims placing it anywhere from 7'-7" to 7'8-½".)

Additional information:

    World's Tallest Woman   World's Tallest Woman

    High Hopes   High Hopes   (ABCNews.com)

Last updated:   5 January 2009

  Sources Sources:

    Martin, Deanna.   "World's Tallest Woman Dies in Indiana at Age 53."

    Associated Press.   13 August 2008.

    For Him Magazine (FHM).   "Wonder Woman."

    November 2003   (p. 38).

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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