Towering (literally) over everyone else in professional wrestling in the 1970s and 1980s was the seven foot four inch frame of the mighty Andre the Giant.

A sufferer from gigantism from birth and acromegaly as an adult, Andre the Giant turned a medical condition that left him deformed and in crippling pain to his advantage as he became not only one of the most famous wrestlers of all time, but also one of the most memorable characters in one of the world’s most beloved children’s movies.

Here is the remarkable life of the man they called the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’.

He Left School Early

Born on May 19th, 1946, Andre Roussimoff showed signs of gigantism from a very early age. Though excelling at Mathematics at school, Andre decided to drop out of school before finishing his education as he figured he didn’t need qualifications to be a farm labourer. His brother Jacques said that the young Andre could do the work of three men when he worked on his father’s farm, and he was not yet even an adult.