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The Tallest Man in the US is Black!

Tallest US man is 7-foot-8 Va. deputy By SONJA BARISIC, Associated Press Writer
Wed Nov 7, 4:26 PM ET

title or description

To all those people who blurt out "Wow, you're tall!" as they stare up at George Bell: He knows. nd now, the world will know, too. The lanky, 7-foot-8 Norfolk sheriff's deputy is being recognized Thursday by Guinness World Records as the Tallest Man in the United States.

That makes him 2 inches taller than the NBA's current tallest player, Yao Ming, but too short to be the world's tallest living man. He stands below, according to Guinness, Ukraine's 8-foot-5.5 Leonid Stadnyk and China's Bao Xi Shun, who is 7 feet 8.95 inches.

To answer the inevitable questions:

Bell wears size-19 shoes, pants with a 43-inch inseam and shirts with 45-inch sleeves.

He did play basketball, in college and with the Harlem Wizards and Harlem Globetrotters show teams.

And as for how he feels about being so tall?

"I have no choice but to like it," Bell, 50, said in an interview with The Associated Press as he paced the sidelines of a Pee Wee football game at a city park, where he was providing security.

"I'm used to a small man's world," he added in a deep voice that suits his stature. "I've been dealing with a small man's world since I was a kid."

Bell was to be revealed as America's tallest man on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Thursday, when 200,000 people worldwide were expected to celebrate Guinness World Records Day by attempting to set records of their own.

Guinness began searching for America's tallest man in August. Bell's ex-wife registered him online, and Guinness spokesman Stuart Claxton said Bell's doctor documented his height.

The Guinness record book now lists only the tallest man in the world, but Bell will be noted — along with the tallest men in several other countries — in the edition to be published next year.

Bell hit 5-foot-4 at age 9. In middle school, he topped 6 feet. By the end of high school, he was 7-foot-6. He played basketball until, at 30, he lost interest in the sport and switched to law enforcement.

His height doesn't intimidate jail inmates — it helps him develop a rapport.

"They've never seen anyone this tall before, so they're amazed," Bell said. "They want to talk."

Bell focuses on the perks of being tall. For example, he usually gets free upgrades to first class on flights when the ticket-counter attendants realize he's going to need a lot of leg room.

He credits his late great-aunt, Etonia Johnson, with his positive attitude: "She always told me, 'Don't feel ashamed of yourself. Stand tall. God made you. Be happy and show your pride.' "


On the Net:

Guinness World Records: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 9th, 2007 01:41 am (UTC)
I know this is a pointless comment...
But why did they choose that picture, at that weird angle? If they're trying to emphasize his height, you'd think they'd have been able to get some other candid shot of him standing NEAR someone else.

Wow, I have no life.

Nov. 9th, 2007 02:36 am (UTC)
Wow, he's right in my city and I've never heard of him. And I was even at the sheriff's office/circuit court last week and didn't see him.
Nov. 9th, 2007 04:42 am (UTC)
Bullshit someone that tall wouldn't intimidate someone, inmates or not! Probably a nice guy once you got to know him, but still!
Nov. 9th, 2007 05:27 am (UTC)
Wow, I live near Norfolk now. I wanna see the tall man!
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 9th, 2007 06:49 pm (UTC)
*spits out water!*

Nov. 9th, 2007 02:29 pm (UTC)
Another excerpt from The Dirty Mind of Espnchick1920
Hmmmmm...wouldn't it be REALLY sad if he were that tall...and had a small penis?
Nov. 9th, 2007 02:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Another excerpt from The Dirty Mind of Espnchick1920
girl, it's okay. i was wondering the same thing when they started listing all his measurements.
Nov. 9th, 2007 06:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Another excerpt from The Dirty Mind of Espnchick1920
Even a larger than average penis would LOOK small on him.
Nov. 9th, 2007 04:25 pm (UTC)
i bet he makes white people run away like nothing else. the only thing scarier than a black man to white folk? a black man that's bigger than them.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )



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