The Life Story of Helen Wadlow

The Life Story of Helen Wadlow

Helen Wadlow was the sister of Robert Wadlow, America’s tallest man. She was born on February 6, 1920, to Harold Franklin Wadlow Sr and Addie May Johnson in Alton, Illinois, United States. Besides Robert, Helen had three other siblings named Betty Jean, Harold Franklin Wadlow Jr. and Eugene Harold Wadlow.

Personal Life

Regarding her personal life, Helen was an easygoing person, and as the second born in a family, she took up some roles in the family. She took care of her younger siblings, and when her older brother Robert died, she took the role of the firstborn in the family.

Talking of her love life, Helen Wadlow was married thrice. She first married Clelle William Upchurch in 1942; it is unclear how the two met, but they were together for more than 10 years. Things were not good in their marriage, and they separated. After some time, Helen Wadlow met another guy named James Walker Larimer, whom she married in 1965.

Helen’s third marriage was to Thomas James Wilson, but their marriage lasted only three years as Thomas died in 1972. In her three marriages, Helen Wadlow was blessed with four children: three daughters and a son.

Her Brother

Helen Wadlow’s elder brother was born in 1918 to his parents in Alton, Illinois, United States. He had numerous nicknames due to his stature; some people called him The Alton Giant, others called him The Illinois Giant, while others referred to him as The Gentle Giant. In terms of his height, by the time he was 8, he was taller than his father. He did not stop growing, and even in his early twenties, he was still growing.

During his graduation from high school, Helen’s brother could be seen standing tall at the back; despite his tall stature, Robert Wadlow was gentle and kind, and that’s how he earned the name The Gentle Giant.

Her Brother’s Education

When he came of age, Robert joined the school, but he always looked different from his classmates. By the time he was five years old, he was the height of a normal human being. In elementary school, he had his special desk, which was specifically designed for him due to his height. After elementary school, Helen’s brother joined Alton High School. Upon his graduation from high school, Robert joined Shurtleff College to study law.

Robert’s Adulthood

Given his stature, Robert became a celebrity, and most people wanted to associate with him. You can find pictures of him on the internet where he took pictures with actresses, musicians, among other famous people. In 1936, Robert went on a tour with Ringling Brothers Circus, and this made him more famous. Two years later, he went on a promotional tour with International Shoe Company as he helped them sell their products. Helen’s brother had his principles, and whenever he was told to do something he was not ready to do, he refused.

Robert started having health problems in his early twenties; the braces he was using caused irritation to his ankle, leading to an infection. His condition became serious, and he was later diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, dying in 1940 aged 22.

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