The official shortest man in the world is He Pingping - (born July 1988), with primordial dwarfism. Pingping holds the Guinness World Record for the worlds smallest man measuring 74.61 cms, or 2 feet and 5.37 inches, who is able to walk.
In 2008 his status as the world's shortest man was verified by Guinness World Records. His height was measured three times over the course of 10 hours before he received a certificate officially naming him as the world's shortest man.
Independent adjudicators from the Guinness Book of World Records traveled to northern China to verify his claims. The experts measured He three times a day - because the spine compresses over time - and averaged the figures to come up with his official height: 2 feet, 5.37 inches.
He Pingping was born in Huade county, Wulanchabu city in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. At birth he was the size of an adult's palm, according to his father He Yun. Doctors diagnosed his condition as due to the bone deformity Osteogenesis imperfecta, which hinders normal bone growth and body height.
In January 2007, He was invited to take part on a television program in Tokyo, Japan. His home of Inner Mongolia is also home to Bao Xishun, who at 2.36 meters tall was recognized by Guinness as the world's tallest man until September 2009. Their televised meeting in July 2007 attracted global media attention. In May 2008 he appeared in the British Channel 4 documentary called The World's Smallest Man and Me hosted by Mark Dolan. In the episode He and his family spent time with Mark who stayed over to celebrate Chinese New Year.
In September 2008 Pingping appeared with the world's longest legged woman, Svetlana Pankratova, in London's Trafalgar Square, to publicize the release of the 2009 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. Svetlana Pankratova is Russian but lives in Spain. Her legs are nearly 52 inches long.
In September 2008, he also traveled to New York City to help launch the 2009 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, which certified him as the world's smallest man.
On April 25, 2010, He was featured in the tenth episode of the 16th season of the American reality show, The Amazing Race, filmed earlier in Shanghai. The episode was dedicated in his memory.
He was admitted to a hospital on 3 March 2010 in Rome, after complaining of chest pains. He had been filming Lo show dei record. He died on March 13, 2010, at the age of twenty-one of heart complications. The Guinness World Records editor-in-chief, Craig Glenday, said that he was "an inspiration to anyone considered different or unusual."
"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.
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.
Pingping's home of Inner Mongolia is also the home to the current world's tallest man, 2,36-meter Bao Xishun, according to Guinness World Records. He Pingping and Bao Xishun, also hailing from Inner Mongolia, became close friends after they met last year.
In 2006 Guinness World Records declined an application from a 14 year old Nepalese boy, Khagendra Thapa Magar, who measures 53 cm tall but will review his application when he is 18 years old.
Younis Edwan, a Jordanian man who claims to be the world's shortest man, has not yet been measured by Guinness World Records.