John Rogan

John William Bud Rogan (February 16, 1868 – September 12, 1905) was an American man who was recorded as the second tallest person in history, surpassed only by Robert Wadlow.

John W. Rogan
John William Bud Rogan

(1868-02-16)February 16, 1868
DiedSeptember 12, 1905(1905-09-12) (aged 37)
Cause of deathComplications due to ankylosis
Known forBeing the second tallest confirmed person in history[citation needed]
Height267 cm (8 ft 9 in)


John Rogan was born in Hendersonville, Tennessee, on February 16, 1868. He was the son of the former slave William Rogan, as the fourth of twelve children. John began to grow very rapidly at the age of 13, due to gigantism.[1] This led to ankylosis[2] (abnormal rigidity of the skeletal joints). By 1882, he could not stand or walk.

Although he could not perform physical labor due to his condition, Rogan made a living by selling portraits and postcards at a train station. An 1897 article in the Kansas City Journal mentions that a number of his drawings were published. Despite his success in this regard, he declined all offers to join carnivals and sideshows.

By 1899, he had grown to a height of 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m) and often appeared in newspapers, referred to as the "negro giant". He used a cart like a wheelchair; it was pulled by goats. He was always the center of attention, often noted for his deep voice and playful attitude. Rogan died on September 12, 1905, due to complications from his ankylosis. It is said however that John was buried under concrete with rocks and dirt to prevent doctors from taking his body away for study and avoid grave robbers. The current burial point is believed to be on the old Rogan farm lands but remains unknown.[3]

Rogan's hands measured 11.5 in (29 cm) in length and his feet measured 13.7 in (35 cm) in length. He grew to 8 ft 9 in (2.67 m) tall but weighed only 205 pounds (93 kg). Rogan is the tallest person of African descent, and remains the second tallest person on record. Robert Wadlow was 21 years old when his height surpassed Rogan's.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Mason, Mark (2018). The book of seconds. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 9781474608473.
  2. ^ Phillips, Betsy (2017-03-07). "Bud Rogan, the 8-Foot-8 Gallatin Giant". Retrieved 2020-03-14.
  3. ^
Preceded by
Tallest recognized person
Succeeded by
Unknown: Closest is Bernard Coyne
Preceded by
Trijntje Keever (alleged, disputed)
Tallest recognized person ever
Succeeded by
Robert Wadlow