Unlike "President", "Actress" or "Baker", the title of "World's Tallest Man" can not be achieved through hard work and sexual favours. Like the royal family you hold an important role in society and are the result of generations of inbreeding.
Leonid Stadnyk was born in Zhytomyr Oblast, Ukraine in 1971. At this point he was not the tallest man in the world.
There is some controversy surrounding Stadnyks claims to be the world's tallest man. Having only ever been measured by the Ukranian Record Books (a crafty bunch) his stated height is not seen as official, the rest of the world prefering to believe the ramblings of the drunken, Irish potato farmers at Guiness. Calls for a city wide fight to the death between Stadnyk and Bao Xishun, the "official" world's tallest man, have so far fallen on deaf ears.
Like this, only bigger.
Living in the Ukraine one can only assume Stadnyks impressive size is due to lingering radiation from the Chernobyl disaster and raises the possibility of even bigger, more hideous affronts to god roaming the eastern European wastelands. Stadnyk puts his enormous bulk down the the very god his continued existence insults but his excessive growth actually began at 12 years old after brain surgery, possibly carried out by a mad soviet scientist. He developed a tumor on his pituitary gland which caused massive amounts of growth hormone and burning hatred of decadent western living to be pumped into his body.
And who can blame him.
Robert Wadlow was born in Alton, Illinois in 1918. He was originally concieved by the US government as a shining beacon of hope after the glorious defeat of Kaiser Wilhelm. It was only later, when he was discovered to be bloody big, that this position in life was considered more apt. A happy coincidence. (Unfortunately he would go on to inspire jealousy in 173cm tall Adolf Hitler, who would take his frustrations out on the jews and the gypsys. For some reason.)
Kaiser Wilhelm - One unhappy pappy
Wadlows early life was filled with the typical follys of youth. He chased girls, played ball and traveled back in time, only to kiss his own mother and be required to coax confidence out his otherwise nerdy wimp of a father. At 13, and 7'4, he became the worlds tallest boy scout and the worlds worst hide and seek player. Unfortunately due to a lack of information on Wikipedia I have to assume nothing else of and interest happened.
It was discovered Wadlows growth was caused by a heady mix of hypertrophy of the pituitary gland and shaman magic. In later life Wadlow's size would take it's tole. He was forced to wear leg braces and suffered irreversable brain damage, caused by low bridges and thin oxygen at his ever increasing altitude. In 1940, at the age of 22, Robert Wadlow died when a squadron of bi-planes, sent by the same government that had devised him all those years ago, shot him down from the top of the empire state building. Today he is remembered not only with a life size bronze statue at the Southern Illinois University, but also as being years ahead of the game compared to other Peter Crouch impersinators.
He just wasn't the real thing.