He Pingping, dubbed 'world's shortest man' by Guinness, dies

He Pingping, heralded by the Guinness Book of World Records as the 'world's shortest man,' recently passed on.

This photo taken on January 14, 2010 shows the shortest man in the world He Pingping (L), standing at 2 ft 5.37 in, holds onto the finger of the world’s tallest man, Sultan Kösen (up), who is 8 ft 1 in tall, during the launch of the Guinness World Records live roadshow in Istanbul. Britain's Guinness World Records said on March 15, 2010 that He Pingping, has died.

The world's shortest man has died in Italy, where he was to take part in a TV show, the program's production company said Tuesday.

He Pingping, of China, who was 2 feet, 5.37 inches (74.6 centimeters) tall, had become a recognized figure across the world, often taking part in shows, photo shoots and other events, Guinness World Records said.

Craig Glenday, the Guinness World Records editor-in-chief, said He was "an inspiration to anyone considered different or unusual" and "showed us that, despite the challenges we face, we can still make the most out of life."

He died Saturday in Rome, according to the TV production company Europroduzione.

He was taken to a hospital March 3 after he fell ill while rehearsing the Italian program "The Record Show," Marco Fernandez de Araoz of Europroduzione said.

The man's body will be flown to China soon once the paperwork is ready, Fernandez de Araoz said.

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