Reflections On Being Tall: Me & Abraham Lincoln

Me & Lincoln

Me & Lincoln



Abraham Lincoln was 6′ 4″ tall as a man. I don’t know when he achieved that height. I think I read somewhere that the average height for a male in 1865 was 5′ 6.” Lincoln was way above that average. And, of course, school children today still comment that Lincoln was “so tall”- I think his stove pipe hat adds to that perception. I wonder if Lincoln’s height was a problem for him. He was tall in a world that wasn’t designed for his height. Was it difficult to get shoes and clothing that fit him? Did he have to routinely duck when going through a doorway? Did he hit his head a lot on things because of his stature? I am wondering about these things because of my own personal experience with being 6′ 4″ tall. I don’t know what the average height for a male is today-but it has to be taller than in Lincoln’s day. While I was a teenager, I achieved my current height in 1969.  My height was considered tall then-I don’t think it is nowadays. Back then, I had to endure all the “tall jokes” of the day. I was told more than a few times that “it must be nice to not need a ladder.” Did Lincoln hear these kinds of things? By the way, I now remember that famous (or infamous?) cartoon of Lincoln in a newspaper (during his lifetime) depicting him as being really really tall. That cartoon was not meant to be a complement. Anyway, it was rough being tall as a young man. I constantly hit my hit on the ceiling light bulb in my room at home (I lived in the attic). I also hit my hit getting in and out of cars and sometimes entering and leaving through doorways. I also had and still have difficulties with leg-room in various cars. And even to this day, finding clothing to fit me isn’t exactly easy.  The photograph above was taken, I think, about 10 years ago. It probably was in the museum at Lincoln’s birthplace in Kentucky. I was noticeably heavier then in weight. I have since lost much weight. Lincoln was said to be about 175 pounds in 1865. I was 175 pounds when I was 19 years-old. Those days are long gone. Oh, by the way, Lincoln and I also share the same shoe size-but that subject is better saved for another day.

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