Sandra Elaine Allen (June 18 1955 – August 13 2008) was an American woman recognized as the tallest woman in the world during her lifetime according to Guinness World Records. She was 7' 7¼ inches (232 cm) in height.
She wrote a book entitled Cast A Giant Shadow, and appeared in the Guinness Book of World Records since 1976. Her abnormal height was due to a tumor in her pituitary gland that caused it to release growth hormone uncontrollably. At age 22, she underwent surgery for the condition. Without this procedure, she would have continued to grow and suffer further medical problems associated with gigantism.
She appeared in the Academy Award-winning Italian film Il Casanova di Federico Fellini, in a TV movie called Side Show, and in a Canadian/American documentary film called Being Different. The New Zealand band Split Enz immortalized her in a song, "Hello Sandy Allen," released on their 1982 album Time and Tide.
Allen used a wheelchair because her legs and back could not support her tall stature in a standing position. At one point in her life, she was bedridden due to disease, and consequently her muscles atrophied. Because of this physical limitation, she spent her last years in Shelbyville, Indiana in a retirement center, the same one as Edna Parker, the current oldest living person in the world.
At the time of her death, many websites were incorrectly identifying Allen as the second tallest woman in the the world, and Chinese woman Yao Defen as the tallest. The Guinness Book of World Records, however, identifies Allen as the tallest, while Yao's official height is disputed.