Sunday, March 2, 2008

Big Boy

I wish to draw your attention to this article concerning the onetime world's heaviest man, Robert Earl Hughes, a familiar figure to anyone who ever picked up a Guinness Book of World Records. Robert Earl - that's apparently what people called him - died 50 years ago this summer at the age of 32.

Hughes cleared 200 pounds by the time he was six years old, and went on to peak at 1,069 pounds. A family friend described him stereotypically as "jolly," but there was heartbreak for the jovial tub as well, as when a publicist arranged for him to go to New York City and appear on Ed Sullivan and other TV shows, but eventually just stranded him in a New York hotel.

Here's an amazing newsreel clip showing Hughes in action, such as it is, at the family farm, when he clocked in at a relatively svelte 720 pounds:

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