With a Shattering Weight of 1400 Pounds, Jon Brower Minnoch Was the Heaviest Person in History

by Deepti S9 months ago
Picture With a Shattering Weight of 1400 Pounds, Jon Brower Minnoch Was the Heaviest Person in History

Meet Jon Brower Minnoch from the United States. Minnoch was recorded as the world’s heaviest human ever in medical history. At his peak, he weighed a whopping 1,400 pounds! Despite his huge size, Minnoch managed to lead a relatively normal life for many years, marrying twice and having two children. But what was the reason behind Minnoch’s incredible weight, and how long did he survive? Let’s take a deeper look.

Jon Brower Minnoch Suffered From Obesity Since His Childhood

Baby Minnoch with his parents
Baby Minnoch with his parents. Image Credit: Wikimedia.org

Jon Brower Minnoch was born on September 29, 1941, in Seattle, Washington. His parents were John Minnoch and June Brower. When Jon was a baby, his family moved from Seattle to an apartment hotel in Bellingham. He was the only child in his family.

Unfortunately, Jon struggled with obesity from a very young age. By age 12, he weighed 294 pounds. He weighed 392 pounds at the age of 22, and his weight ballooned to 700 pounds in 1966. Most of the time, Jon weighed between 800 to 900 pounds. He was 6 feet 1 inch tall. His body was estimated to be around 80% body fat. Jon believed that water retention was the main reason behind his obesity. However, an obesity specialist said that the water retention was actually a consequence of Jon’s heavy weight and not actually the cause.

Jon Brower Minnoch in his senior yearbook photo from Bothell High School, 1958.
Jon Brower Minnoch in his senior yearbook photo from Bothell High School, 1958. Image Credit: Bothell High School/Wikimedia.org

Despite his health problems, Jon Brower Minnoch was a warm and fun-loving family man. Despite of his massive body weight, he tried to live a normal life and never felt disabled in any way. In 1963, he married Jean McArdle. Together, they ran the only taxi service on Bainbridge Island, which they called the Bainbridge Island Taxi Company. He worked as a taxi driver for 17 years.

The Doctors Were Shocked by His Survival Despite His Heavy Weight!

Jon with his parents
Jon with his parents. Image Credit: Buyout Footage Historic Film Archive/ Youtube.com

In 1978, Jon had reached a point where he could no longer handle the load of his weight. So, he decided to substantially reduce his food consumption. He was under a strict, doctor-recommended diet of only 600 calories per day, consisting mostly of vegetables.


He also attempted to cleanse his body of excess fluid by taking diuretic pills. Unfortunately, the pills did not have the intended outcome. After three weeks of severe weakness and being confined to his bed, Jon finally listened to his wife’s advice and agreed to go to the hospital for treatment.

It took firefighters to remove a window to take him to the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle in March 1978. It took over a dozen rescuers to safely roll him over to a specially modified stretcher!  Here, a consultant endocrinologist calculated Jon’s weight to be over 1,400 pounds, breaking the record for being the world’s heaviest human ever!

The doctors were surprised that someone with such a heavy weight had survived so long. Jon was diagnosed with edema, which is extreme swelling caused by excessive water trapped in the body’s tissues. In March 1978, when he weighed 1,400 pounds, he was 12 times heavier than his wife Jean, who was just 110 pounds. This set another world record for the largest weight difference ( 1,289.70 pounds) in a married couple. Jean and Jon also had two sons named John and Jason. The couple, however, got divorced in 1980. Jon then married Shirley Ann Griffen in 1982.


Sadly, Despite Sincere Efforts to Stay Fit, Jon Brower Minnoch Could Not Make it Past 41

Jon Brower Minnoch, World’s heaviest human ever
Jon Brower Minnoch, World’s heaviest human ever. Image Credit: Buyout Footage Historic Film Archive/ Youtube.com

Jon Brower Minnoch had an extremely high BMI of 410 pounds/m2. His condition deteriorated to the point where he required a respirator for several days in the hospital. In April 1978, his doctors classified his condition as critical. Minnoch suffered from Pickwickian syndrome, a condition in which a person cannot breathe well, resulting in high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood.

Jon Brower Minnoch was in the hospital for two years seeking obesity treatment. Doctors prescribed a low-calorie diet of 1,200 calories per day for him. He weighed 476 pounds when he was discharged, having shed almost 900 pounds. This marked the largest documented weight reduction ever at that point.


Minnoch’s goal was to continue reducing weight until he reached a healthier weight of 210 pounds. Unfortunately, he quickly started to gain weight again after he was discharged. He was readmitted to the hospital just over a year later, in October 1981, weighing 952 pounds and having gained 200 pounds in only one week!

Sadly, he passed away 23 months later, on 4 September 1983, at the age of 41. Medical records stated cardiac arrest as the cause for his passing, along with respiratory failure and restrictive lung disease. Minnoch was 798 pounds when he took his last breath. Due to his size, his casket had to be specifically built from 3⁄4 inch plywood and lined with cloth. The casket measured five by 7 ½ feet and took up the space of two burial plots! The man unfortunately succumbed to obesity even after his ardent efforts to stay fit.

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Picture With a Shattering Weight of 1400 Pounds, Jon Brower Minnoch Was the Heaviest Person in History
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