Studying John/Johan Aasen for the last couple of years- this on behalf of the Aasen committee (they want to erect a statue, here in Norway) that wanted more information about him.  Their info was based on "talk of the town" and they didn't know where he was buried.

His mother Kristi (said to be very tall) was a tall lady at the time, but only 1880 mm. This based on medical journals prior to her death and "talk of the town"

in Sheyenne, where she had her restaurant.  She died of consumption and was buried in Fargo.

John lived to be "only" 2134mm and based on the medical study by Dr. H. Grey (The Minnesota Giant) from 1937- less than a year before he passed away.  This report include every detail from weight, height to the lenght of he toes, fingers, arms, legs up to the fact that he never shaved.  His arms and upper body had no hair.  Pictures attached to this report shows Johan nude-  his body was weak, x-rays and all kinds of information.  It also gives information about his fathers father (said to be on exhibition at The Chicago World fair 1893 as the Norwegian Giant).  I found that after Johan died at the Mendocino State Hospital at 07.50 in the morning, they did an autopsy and sent the body to Eversole Mortuary in Ukiah, the next morning. 

Johan sister Evelyn was on her way from Montana, but was to late to see him alive.  According to Eversoles journals it was a simple ceremony in the morning of the 3. of Aug.. and then the body was shipped in a sealed container to Barnard in Missouri.  To Dr. Charles D. Humberd- the freak doctor, that became a mentor in studies of giants. (Dr. Humberd was the only one to measure Robert Wadlow in his latest years)  according to people of Barnard giant came and went in and out of the good doctors house on second street.  Wadlow, Earle, Mullen/Hite, Aasen and many of the others.  Johan gave his body to Humberd, and the doc did his studies and later boiled the rest to get the skeleton.  Doctor Humberd had two skeletons on display in his living room (picture attached), according to the lady that live in the house to day, there are two hooks in the ceiling where the skeletons hung.

The soft parts of Johns body was cremated and the ashes sent to a Masonic ceremony at his final resting place at Forest Lawn Memorial in Glendale CA. 

Columbarium of Protection #12373 

John traveled with many different circuses, also abroad. Between 1925 and 1935 he went with Shiners Circus to the Orient, Australia, NZ, Europe and to Hawaii and South America. I have lots of news clippings.  His manager Wayne Barlow took John to all kinds of markets, fairs and exhibitions all over before he "settled" with his job at Sid Graumans  Million Dollar Theater on Broadway.  John also worked in the Chinese Theater.  He was known to be very good playing his Harmonica.  I know that he often played "Stublin".  Even if he did some small roles in Charlie Chan at the Circus and The Bengal Tiger in 1936, the last 4 years of his life was a mess of various hospital stays and weakness.  He dies poor.  His low IQ was a possible reason for his bad investments. 

All his things was sent to his sister in Montana (she died in 1988) in a single steam-trunk.  I'm going to make a TV-documentary about John and his life, and we are going to the US, later this year. 


Ben Lonrusten


Above Images & Text Courtesy Ben Lonrusten - Norway



Johan Aasen lived from 1890 to 1938. At the time of his adult life, he was reportedly the tallest man in the World. To this date his exact height is not known. News articles recorded him as tall as 8 feet - 9 inches. It is still debated as to how tall he was. It seems most reports would exaggerate his height probably by including his high-heel boots and hat in the measurement. However, at around 8 feet, he was a formidable man. To give you a sense of his size, the standard height of a room in the US today is 8 feet. He would not have been able to wear his hat or shoes and stand up straight in a room this high. Another example of his extraordinary height is that he would probably have been able to "dunk" a basketball into a regulation 10-foot-high basketball hoop ... without jumping.


Above information excerpt from - for more on Johan Aasen click here


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