Anna Haining Swan Bates, in addition to a great personality, was considered “the most beautiful woman in the world”, as you will learn from the following.
The world’s tallest woman and how “ordinary people” tried to survive in the world
Anna Hining Bates was born in Nova Scotia on August 6, 1846, and was part of a large family, the third of 13 children, all of whom were of average height, except her.
While some sources say Bates was an average-sized baby, others say he weighed 13 pounds at birth (apparently a record). By the time she was 15, she was taller than many children her age, and her growth had not stopped.
Although never officially diagnosed, it was later determined that Anna Bates had been born with gigantism, a condition caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland that releases excessive growth hormones. People living with gigantism grow very rapidly and generally have a shorter life expectancy than healthy people.
Anna Bates’ family understood their daughter’s personal situation very well. It is known that when she was in primary school, her father built a large desk for her to sit on comfortably.
But that’s not all.
He also built a big bed for her so that she could sleep peacefully like everyone else in the house. Unfortunately, he is unable to protect her from the often malicious outside world.
As word continued to spread about this elderly woman, people in Nova Scotia began visiting her family’s farm in hopes of catching a glimpse of her.
Local newspapers began publishing stories about her, which increased interest but also increased malice. One newspaper even referred to her as a “giant baby”.
So from a very young age, Bates developed an interest in the outside world, and his family soon began to see this as a way to put his “gift” to use.
Adult Life and Untimely Death of Anna Haining Bates
Sometimes she went on tours, sometimes she took care of her younger siblings, but when she had time, she tried to spend her time reading and focusing on other artistic interests.
While her experience was certainly not a normal one, she did her best to focus on all the usual things other kids her age did.
She tried to live a normal life, but her existence was marked by insecurity and criticism from people around her.
While visiting a circus in Halifax, Bates met Martin Van Buren Bates, who, like him, was over 2.1 meters tall.
Obviously, every prince needs his princess and every giant needs his giantess. Bates married Martin in London in 1871 and the couple fell madly in love. It didn’t take long and the two started doing circus tours together.
In 1888, after battling tuberculosis and several thyroid problems, Bates died of heart failure in his sleep. It happened just a day before his 42nd birthday.
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