The fascinating life of the world’s shortest man

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Dangi at the Rambo Circus in March 2015.
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Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

In September, Chandra Bahadur Dangi, who at a mere 21.5 inches tall was the world’s shortest man, died of pneumonia. He was 75 years old.

Prior to being named the record holder in 2012, he had never left his village of Reemkholi, in the Dang district of Nepal.

Dangi credits the Guinness World Records designation for giving him the means to travel.

In 2014 he told the Telegraph, “It’s been a lifelong dream to travel, and becoming a Guinness World Records title holder has enabled me to do that.”

Below, learn about the shortest man’s journey to the top.


Dangi was born November 30, 1939, in the remote village of Reemkholi in Nepal.

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Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters

Dangi was officially diagnosed with primordial dwarfism and grew to be a mere 21.5 inches tall. He weighed only 31 pounds.

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Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters

Before being discovered by the Guinness World Records, Dangi led a quiet life in his village. Here, he’s pictured playing his traditional Nepalese drum.

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Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters

In 2012, record-keepers came to Kathmandu to measure Dangi. They determined that he was indeed the shortest man alive. Dangi stole the crown from the prior record-holder, a man from the Philippines who was a recorded 23.5 inches tall.

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Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters

Here, Dangi washes his face at a hotel in Kathmandu during the week he was measured and granted world record status.

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Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters

With his new world record-breaking status, Dangi was given the opportunity to travel — a dream come true for him.

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Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters

In November of 2014, Dangi met the tallest living man, Sultan Kösen, for Guinness World Records Day. “I’m honored to be in London, I’ve always wanted to visit and the fact I get to meet Sultan is special. It makes me extremely proud to represent Nepal all around the world. I’m extremely humbled by the support I receive,” Dangi told the Telegraph.

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Luke MacGregor/Reuters

Source: The Telegraph


Earlier this year, Dangi attended the Rambo Circus in Mumbai, India, as a special guest.

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Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

At that time, Dangi had told the Rambo Circus that he credited his good health to careful diet and disciplined living.

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Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

However, late this summer, Dangi fell ill — despite being sick, he traveled for an appearance to American Samoa. There, his conditioned worsened. He was admitted to the Lyndon B. Johnson Tropical Medical Center in Pago Pago, where he died September 3.


Dangi’s body was taken back to Nepal by family members.

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Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters

The Guinness Book of World Records released a statement on the day of Dangi’s passing: “GWR would like to express its sincere and heartfelt condolences to Mr. Dangi’s family in this difficult time. He will be remembered forever as an iconic and extraordinary record holder.”

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Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters

Although Dangi still holds the Guinness World Record for being the shortest man ever, the title for the shortest man living will be returned to Junrey Balawing of the Philippines, who is 22 years old.

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Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters