The Tallest Couple In History, Anna Haining Bates And Martin Van Buren Bates

I often like to add a few posts that are entertaining and for today, that post will be about the tallest couple that has ever been documented in history.

It is often quite easy to find couples where the guy is far larger than the girl, and it is rare to see couples where the female is taller than the guy. Over the years the stigma of shorter men dating taller women has started to abate but the standard is still that the women will be shorter than the men. Most women of short stature actually prefer to be with really tall men. I can only theorize that these petit who always choose to date and mate with really tall men are unconsciously trying to overcompensate for their own limited size and hope at some level that their partner’s size and genes can be dominant enough to pass on their height to her future children.

As for shorter men who date taller women, those types of men are often also suffering from some form of insecurity and think that by showing that they can date tall women, they can validate their self worth to the rest of the world. For the women in the relationship, they don’t seem to care about height too much but focus more on how much the other person, the guy can love them and treat them right.

For the tallest couple in history, it seemed like both people were able to be happy with their relative height. For the guy in the relationship, Martin Van Buren Bates also known as “The Kentucky Giant” for his fame during the American Civil War was 7′ 9″, no small man himself. From the Wikipedia article about him found HERE, they state that,

“Though born an infant of normal size into a family of normal-sized people in Letcher County, Kentucky, he is said to at one time have been 7 feet 11 inches (2.41 m) in height. The Guinness Book of World Records and other reputable sources have him listed at being 7 feet 9 inches (2.36 m) tall and weighing 470 pounds (213.64 kg). His first occupation was as a schoolteacher, but upon the outbreak of the Civil War, he joined the Confederate Army as a private in the 5th Kentucky Infantry in September 1861, rising to the rank of captain within short order. His ferocity in battle, aided by his imposing figure, made him legendary, with Union soldiers telling tales of a “Confederate giant who’s as big as five men and fights like fifty”.

From the pictures of him standing next to his wife thought, we know better and estimated his height to be less, probably around the 7′ 5″ mark. I mean come on, we all know that men like to exaggerate their height (as well as other body parts) it was stated recently that Bates may have been “only” 7′ 3″. On the tallest man website, he is estimated to be actually 7′ 3.5″ which seems to be about right.

His wife Anna Haining Bates is a true giant in the family, standing at an astounding 7′ 5.5″. If she was truly of that height, then she is probably one of the biggest and healthiest female giants ever in history. If we looked at another photo we would note that in most photos of Anna and Martin together, they are about even in relative height. Of course Anna has a dress on so we can not see what type of footwear she has on. Since it is the 19th century in the US, we can assume she has no pumps or high heels on so we could guess that she is probably wearing flat footwear.

When we then look at the photos of Martin, we can see that he is wearing boots, which often can give a 1.5″-2.0″ added height. This is why I have concluded that Martin is probably not the 7′ 9″ or 7′ 11″ that he was billed as when he went on tour with the circus. Those Barnum & Bailey people are well known for exaggerating the heights of their supposed “giants” who are indeed tall, but not true in their stated height.

However,I would say the point is lost. All I need to state is that the guy was tall, and the girl was even TALLER. Together, they are probably the only 7 foot couple to ever exist, at least in documented history. Combined together, their total height is almost to 15 feet. (If you can find a taller couple, tell me and I will edit this post)

They would go one to have two children, both who died either in childbirth or never made it to live. One of the children given birth to would be measured and turn out to be the biggest baby to ever be born and recorded. Of course, that topic will be another post for another day.

To Learn more about Anna Haining Bates, you can either go to the Tallest Man website HERE or Wikipedia link HERE. To learn more about the couple, click HERE.

Recently, the county of Letcher in Kentucky decided to honor their historical giant. Link is HERE.

4 thoughts on “The Tallest Couple In History, Anna Haining Bates And Martin Van Buren Bates

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  2. Brittany

    This is a really interesting and fairly accurate article about the two of them. However, I feel it necessary to point out that around the end of the 19th century (when they lived) women did frequently wear heels. Granted they were nothing like the 5 in stilettos you see women wearing these days, they were more like 2 in. mules or clogs still enough to give a woman an inch or two of height. Even flat shoes back then weren’t completely flat. While I agree he probably wasn’t the 7’11 that some sources claim, if she was 7’5 and wearing a shoe that was average height for a woman its very possible, in fact likely that he was between 7’5 and 7’8 himself. Also, look at their shoulders, his are higher than hers in both pictures and you can’t forget to take into account any extra height she would get from her hairstyle. He was definitely taller than her.

  3. nicole

    ths story interest me very much . and would love to learn mre about thm as well as there children that did nt make it to live a healthy life I have looked everywhere .for mre info and have been unable to find any info .ive always been interested in why children born end up dying and I thk if doctors where mre into researching things lke tis that maybe thy can find ways to save people the pain and heart ach frm going threw wat poor anna did .tho it is rare for things to happen lke tis it is still possiable for others to end up havein a child of theses sizes .

  4. Maxine Quillen

    Martin Van Buren Bates was 7’11″inches tall and Anna was 8’ft. he is my Great Uncle my Grandfather’s baby brother. my Grandfather is Captain Robert Bates
    Maxine Bates Quillen


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