March 16, 2010 / 7:33 AM / 9 years ago

World's shortest man dies aged 21

He Pingping (L) of China holds the finger of Sultan Kosen of Turkey as they pose for photographers during a promotional event in Istanbul January 14, 2010. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

BEIJING (Reuters Life!) - The world’s shortest man, China’s He Pingping who was just over 74 cm tall (29 inches), has died at the age of 21 from apparent heart complications, the Guinness World Records book said.

He, who suffered a form of primordial dwarfism and was recognized as a world-record holder in 2008, died on Saturday in Rome, where he was taking part in a TV show.

“For such a small man, he made a huge impact around the world,” Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief of the London-based Guinness World Records, said in a statement.

He was born in China’s northern region of Inner Mongolia in 1988. According to the BBC, he was admitted to hospital two weeks ago after suffering a chest complaint.

Guinness announced his death late on Monday.

He was a chain smoker and his family said he stopped growing after he turned 18.

Reporting by Reuters Television, editing by Miral Fahmy

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