Page last updated at 18:46 GMT, Monday, 15 March 2010

The world's shortest man, He Pingping, dies aged 21


The world's shortest man has died in Rome

The world's shortest man, He Pingping, who was just 74.6cm (2ft 5in) tall, has died in Rome.

He was born in 1988 in Wulanchabu, China, with a form of primordial dwarfism, and was officially recognised as the world's shortest man in 2008.

He was admitted to hospital two weeks ago after suffering a chest complaint and died on Saturday, but his death has only just been announced.

Guinness World Records said he had made a "huge impact around the world".

"From the moment I laid on eyes on him I knew he was someone special - he had such a cheeky smile and mischievous personality, you couldn't help but be charmed by him," said Craig Glenday, Guinness World Records editor-in-chief.

He Pingping in a file photo from 14/1/2010
He Pingping officially became the world's shortest man in 2008

"For such a small man, he made a huge impact around the world," he added.

Mr He was in the Italian capital to take part in the filming of a television programme called The Record Show.

According to the TV production company Europroduzione, he had already filmed two episodes of the programme when he complained of feeling unwell.

"He started to feel slightly ill and we decided to take him to hospital. He entered hospital two weeks ago and had all kinds of tests, being a very special person he had to go though all sorts of tests. He went into intensive care three days after he was admitted," said Marco Fernandez de Araoz, communications director for Europroduzione.

He said that Mr He died on Saturday afternoon and, at the request of his family, his body would be returned to China to be buried.

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