An El Pasoan Was Once The Tallest Man In The World
He was a movie star, stuntman, circus performer and salesman.
You could say he was a "big" success. Jacob Reuben Ehrlich ... aka "Jack Earle" ... first came to El Paso with his parents in 1912 when he was about 6. Once fully grown, he topped out at 8 feet, 6 1/2 inches tall. (Some sources say it was 7' 6.5".)
Very early on he began attracting attention and between the ages of 13 - 17, he appeared in around 50 silent films under the stage name "Jack Earle". A bad fall ended that career but Show Biz wasn't done with him yet. Back in El Paso, he was spotted ... how could he not be? ... in the crowd when the Ringling Brothers Circus came to town. Legend has it that, as the announcer started to announce one of its performers as the "tallest man in the world", he spotted Jack and stopped the intro mid - sentence. By the end of that day, maybe even before the show ended, he was a member of the circus troupe and spent over a decade traveling the world.
He even made it into the Guinness Book Of World Records at one point. Eventually he got tired of circus life and came back to El Chuco to work with his Dad at the Geneva Loan and Jewelry Company. He intended to do the father and son thing but chronic health issues prevented that. He died in 1952 and is buried in Concordia Cemetery.
Interesting side note, my Dad met him a few times and told me some stories about him. Apparently he was a nice guy, multi talented and, due to his incredible height, had to have a few things customized just for him. Shotguns, fishing poles, clothing, etc. Even his car, which my Dad saw, was modified.
It had the front seats removed so Jack could drive while comfortably sitting in the rear seats.