March 9, 1872

Ella Ewing
Public Domain

Ella Ewing, the “Missouri Giantess,” was born. She grew to be the world’s tallest woman of her time, reaching 8-feet, 4-inches. She grew up in the small village of Gorin in northeast Missouri and traveled the country thanks to her fame. She died at the age of 40 and is buried close to her childhood home.

Born Ella Kate Ewing, she was an American woman famous for her remarkable height. She was born on March 9, 1872, in Lewis County, Missouri, and grew up in a rural farming community. Ella’s extraordinary growth began in her early teens, and by the time she reached adulthood, she stood at an impressive height of 8 feet 4 inches (2.54 meters), making her one of the tallest women in recorded history.

Ewing’s height was attributed to a condition known as gigantism, which is caused by an overproduction of growth hormone. Despite the challenges posed by her size, including the need for custom-made clothing and shoes, Ella embraced her uniqueness. She began a career in show business in the late 19th century, touring with various circuses and sideshows, including the Ringling Brothers Circus. She was often billed as “The Missouri Giantess” or “The Earth’s Tallest Woman.”

Ella Ewing used her earnings to support her family, purchasing a farm for her parents and building a specially designed house with high ceilings and oversized furniture to accommodate her height. She remained close to her roots, living a relatively quiet life when not on tour.

Ella Ewing passed away on January 10, 1913, at the age of 40, in Gorin, Missouri. Her legacy lives on in her hometown, where a museum dedicated to her life and a replica of her house can be found. Ewing is remembered not only for her extraordinary physical stature but also for her kindness and generosity.