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World’s Tallest Man Reaches Out And Touches My Heart

I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to wake up this morning to find that Sultan Kösen is now using a photo from my interview with him as his Facebook photo.

I met Kösen last Fall when he was in New York to promote the 2010 Guinness World Records book. We met for coffee at a Times Square hotel. Guinness had just helped him obtain his first pair of jeans (not so easy to do when you’re 8-foot-1, the tallest man on record in nearly two decades), and was on a world tour as a Guinness spokesman.

Kösen is a great guy, and he loves his new gig with Guinness, especially because it gives him the chance to travel (which isn’t so easy, when even first class seats are extra tiny). Only a few years earlier, this 27-year-old was a farmer from a small village in eastern Turkey, and he had spent much of his life in a hospital.

Doctors finally removed the tumor in his pituitary gland, which caused his growth spurt, and Guinness made him a star.

“It’s difficult to express all the opportunities and experiences I’ve had,” said Kösen, who is now a hero in his homeland.

He recently helped kick off a six-week Guinness World Records Live! Roadshow in Istanbul, along with He Pingping, the world’s shortest man.

I’m so happy Sultan liked the pictures from that interview. This one and many of the others were taken by my friend and fellow weird news writer Marc Hartzman. Marc’s wife, Liz Steger, is a professional photographer. So, I think, everyone involved has reason to feel a sense of accomplishment.

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