Robert Pershing Wadlow, Alton's gentleman giant, was born February 22, 1918. He lived most of his life in Alton, where he attended Alton High School and Shurtleff College, now the campus of S.I.U.E. Dental School. At age five, Robert was 5'6" tall and wore clothes that would fit a 17 year old, and by age 10 Robert was 6'5" tall and weighed over 200 pounds. Robert was the largest boy scout in the world; at age 13 he was 7'4". Robert was the tallest man who ever lived. Upon his death on July 15, 1940, he was 8'11.1" tall and weighed 490 pounds.
Robert Wadlow was a significant part of the history of Alton. He was a well-traveled ambassador for our city. Active in community and religious organizations, he was known for his positive attitude and gentle manner.
This statue was erected by Alton-Godfrey Rotary, Alton Area Optimist, Junior League of Greater Alton, Olin Foundation, Alton-Wood River Board of Realtors, Upper Alton Business Association and those who cherish Robert's Memory.