How tall are our world leaders? In the United States we like ‘em big just like our houses and our meals. Historically most of the US presidents over the past 100 years have been at least 6′ tall. Apparently size doesn’t really matter in other countries.
In a world where a carefully manipulated image (and sometimes stack heels) are essential, definitive vital statistics can be hard to come by. The heights shown here are those most commonly recorded for each world leader.
- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, for example, is variously reported as being between 5’2″ and 5’4″ tall.
- Napoleon’s height was once commonly given as 5’2″, but many historians have now credited him with another 4 inches owing to a miscalculation between French and English units of measurement.
President Sarkozy visited the Faurecia factory in Caligny in Normandy, northern France, on Thursday last week as part of a drive to defend his management of the economy.
After a tour of the plant, he addressed factory employees while standing in front of a group of workers, who were all about his own height or shorter.
In a subsequent TV report by Belgian network RTBF, an unnamed employee confirmed she had been chosen to share the stage with President Sarkozy because she was no bigger than him.
Faurecia’s management released a statement on Monday to “deny the rumours that the Elysee had made any ‘special requests’ as regards the staff present during the president’s speech”, reported French news agency AFP.
But French websites Le Post and Rue89 have since quoted union representatives at the plant, some of them named, as confirming that height criteria for staff to appear with Mr Sarkozy had been received by the management.
President Sarkozy is reported to be extremely touchy about his height, which is believed to be about 5ft 5in or 5ft 6in (165-168 cm).
He has previously been pictured wearing shoes with a substantial heel and giving speeches standing on hidden platforms.
The French media have also previously noted the propensity of Mr Sarkozy’s wife, the former model Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, to don flat shoes when in the presence of her husband.