SHANGHAI, Dec. 5 (UPI) --
The tallest woman in the world, China's Yao Defen, has died at the age of 40, her family said.
The 7-foot-8-inch Yao passed away in the house she shared with her mother in a small village in central Anhui Province, Shanghaiist reported Wednesday.
Yao's gigantism was caused by a tumor on her pituitary gland.
By the age of 15, she was already over 6 feet tall and her family hoped she would have a successful career as a basketball player but her massive frame made that impossible.
Instead, Yao found work in a circus freak show that toured the country.
There was no word on the exact cause of Yao's death. A neighbor said her mother found her lying in her bed not breathing..
© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
1 of 19
Guinness Book of World Records Judge Kimberly Partrick inspects and certifies the world's largest chocolate bar, weighing in at 12,190 pounds and measuring 21-feet long, 4-feet wide and 3-feet high on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011 in Chicago. The bar, made by Chicago-based World's Finest Chocolate, a leader in chocolate fundraising products, will tour schools across the United States as part of a portion-control education campaign called 'Think Big. Eat Smart.' UPI/Brian Kersey
| License Photo