The Viking Giant
Johann Petursson was billed as "the Icelandic Giant" and
claimed a height of 8' 8". Early in his career he dressed
the part of the dandy in top hat, waistcoat and tails - but
in later years he took to wearing the Viking costume
Petursson was born in Dalvik, Iceland in 1913. He began
exhibiting himself in Europe, and spent the duration of the
second World War trapped in Copenhagen, Denmark.
In 1948, Petursson emigrated to America, where he initially
appeared with Ringling Brothers. In 1950, Johann appeared in
a campy B-movie called Prehistoric Women. At some
point during the 1960's Petursson retired to Gibsonton,
Florida, but showman (and neighbor) Ward Hall was able to
coax him to work for him one last time in 1973 for a
Smithsonian event in Washington D.C.
He was featured in films and magazines, and appeared with
every major circus and carnival until he retired.
Petursson passed away in 1984 - having achieved quite a
respectable age for a giant.