Rites set for Henry Hite, billed as the tallest human Elizabeth Brenner - Edition: Chicago Tribune
PRIVATE SERVICES have been scheduled for Henry Hite, 63, a Chicago vaudevillian who billed himself as The Tallest Living Human Being.
Hite, who stood 7 feet, 7 inches tall, and weighed 270 pounds, died Friday of heart and liver ailments. He had been suffering from heart disease for the last two years, his wife, Maria Mullins, said Saturday from the couple s apartment in the Croydon Hotel.
As the king-sized standout in the vaudeville team of Lowe, Hite, and Stanley, Henry Hite dwarfed his partners-3-foot2-inch Stanley Ross and 5-foot-6-inch Roland Lowe.
For the last 15 years, Hite had made promotional supermarket tours for Wilson Foods and Corn King.
Born Henry Mullins in Atlanta in 1915, Hite was a normal-sized youngster until he reached the age of 9. By the time he was 12, he stood 7 feet, 4 inches, actually growing as much as an inch a week. By his 15th birthday, he reached his present size.
The Guiness Book of World Records included him as one of the world s tallest humans. Officially, the record book listed his size as 7 feet, 9 inches. Hite billed himself at 8 feet, 2 inches, equal to the height of the tallest known man.
Hite said his height never bothered him, and he used his vaudeville routines to poke fun at his gargantuan size.
I'm here to sing and dance and entertain your citizens on the stage, he told Chicago audience in 1934. But if I don't get some bookings, I may hire out as a Christmas tree.
Hite slept diagonally on a pair of kingsize beds. He wore a pair of size 22 shoes, custom-made at $90 a pair. He drove a modified Volkswagon from the back seat. He said he never went swimming in artificial pools because it was hard for him to get wet.
TO GAPING PASSERS-BY, he often would shout, What s the matter, haven't you ever seen a man wearing a gray suit before?
Maria Mullins, his wife of 42 years, stands 5 feet, 3 inches tall. She met him in the theater in 1936. She said Saturday that doctors were amazed that Hite lived as long as he did. Most such victims of abnormal pituitary growth die in young adulthood.
PHOTO CAPTION: Henry Hite Record Number: 19780528ob013