Al and Jeannie Tomaini
Al Tomaini (born Aurelio Tomaini on February 25th, 1912 billed at a height of 8 feet 4.5 inches. The Guinness World Records stated he was really 7 feet 4 inches.
Al was one of seven children born to Santo Tomaini and Maria Bossone. At the age of 12, he was taller than his father, who stood six feet and one inch tall. He had a great-grandfather in Italy who was also of abnormal height. His parents called in a physician who, by taking X-rays, found that his pituitary gland was working overtime, causing him to become a “giant”.
Weighing 356 pounds and wearing size 27 shoes, Al Tomaini spent most of his life as a circus giant. He was working with a circus at the Great Lakes Exposition in Chicago, in 1936, when he met his future wife, Jeanie Tomaini, known as The Living Half Girl. She was born without legs and was only 2 ft 5 inches tall. Together they were billed as The World’s Strangest Married Couple.
After retiring from the circus life, he and Jeanie settled in the circus community of Giant’s Camp, Gibsonton, Florida. Al Tomaini liked the fishing and the Alafia River so much that he converted mud flats and old shacks into a modern trailer camp, put up a restaurant and crated “The Giant’s Fishing Camp.”
He donated the town’s first ambulance, became fire chief, designed the community hall and had himself and his tiny pal, Colonel Casper Balsam, sworn in as deputy sheriffs. Al Tomaini was an extraordinary community supporter helping build the community hall, and serving as president of the Chamber of Commerce.
He owned and operated the Giant’s Fish Camp, a TV repair shop, and a tourist-trailer court on the banks of the Alafia River.
His death in 1962 at 50 years of age, came after extensive treatment for a pituitary tumor. He adopted his children.