He Pingping, World's Shortest Man, Dies

In this Sept. 16, 2008 file photo, the world's smallest man, He Pingping, and the woman with the longest legs in the world, Svetlana Pankratova, pose together in London's Trafalgar Square. According to a spokesperson for Guiness World Records in London, He Pingping, has died at the age of 21, after developing chest problems while filming a television programme in Italy. The Chinese-born man, who became a record-holder in March 2008, was taken to hospital in Rome for treatment but died on Saturday March 13.(AP Photo/John Stillwell-pa, file) **UNITED KINGDOM OUT: NO SALES: NO ARCHIVE:**
AP Photo/John Stillwell
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.

Guinness World Records said in a press release He was born in 1988 with a form of primordial dwarfism. He was officially measured in March 2008.

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.

After two days, He was transferred to intensive care, where he was found to have a heart condition and high cholesterol, said Fernandez de Araoz. He said the hospital, where he died, has so far given as his cause of death the heart condition.

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

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