Jacob Nacken, born Jakob Hudson Nacken, was a German circus performer who performed throughout Europe and the United States in the early twentieth century.
He began his professional career as a performer in a traveling circus as a child, and he made his debut as an abnormally tall person during the 1939 New York World’s Fair.
With seven feet three inches, or two meters and twenty-one centimeters, Nacken was the tallest soldier in the German Army.
He operated like a giant Santa Claus and made appearances as the World’s Tallest Man, among other things, on American television and in freak shows as the World’s Tallest Man.
Jakob’s early life
Jakob Nacken was born on February 15, 1906, in Düsseldorf, Germany. His parents were each six feet two inches tall.
Nacken began his professional career in the entertainment business in the early 1960s as Uranus and the giant from the Rhineland in a German traveling circus.
He was known as Germany’s tallest man and was regarded as the world’s tallest man during his lifetime.
Nacken wore a size 17 pair of boots as an adult. He landed on the tops of doors intended to accommodate people of ordinary height when he fell, injuring his skull.
When he returned to Germany at the start of World War II, he was conscripted into the army right away, becoming the country’s tallest soldier ever. In August 1944, Nacken was assigned to 250 troops seized in Calais, France.
Nacken’s time during the war
Nacken was believed to be returning to the United States in August 1949 because he wanted to leave postwar Germany and its culture behind.
Nacken’s sister, who had already established herself in the United States, helped him find a place for him and his wife to live in Paterson, New Jersey.
The SS Atlantic, which departed Genoa, Italy on December 6, 1950, and arrived in the port of New York City the next day, brought Nacken and his wife to the United States.
His life after the war
Nacken was on the hunt for work that would be suitable for his stature. Newspaper pictures and Pathé newsreels helped him gain notoriety. He played Santa Claus in December 1949.
Because children could walk between his knees, he earned the moniker “the world’s tallest Santa.”
In Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Shows, Nacken was known as the “World’s Tallest Man,” a title he maintained for many years.
As a star known as “Germany’s Long Jake,” he appeared on many television shows and became well-known across the nation. At the age of 81, he died in Europe.
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