Walter Hudson Cause of Death: How the Fattest Man in the World Died at 47

Walter Hudson was once the fattest man in the world, according to the Guinness World Records. He had a waist circumference of 119 inches (302 cm) and weighed 1,197 pounds (543 kg) at his peak. He made headlines in 1987 when he got stuck in his bathroom door and had to be cut out by the fire department. He died of a heart attack on December 24, 1991, at the age of 47. How did he become so obese and what led to his tragic death?

The Early Life of Walter Hudson

Walter Hudson was born on June 5, 1944, in Brooklyn, New York. He was a compulsive eater since childhood. His father left the family when he was a baby. By the time he was 6 years old, he weighed 125 pounds (57 kg). He would often leave home early on the way to school just to eat extra food, and would routinely eat late at night. He dropped out of school in the 7th grade after breaking his leg, eventually earning his high school diploma via a tutor. He and his family moved to Hempstead, New York when he was 25.

The Turning Point of Walter Hudson

The turning point in Walter Hudson’s life occurred when he was 12 years old. When he was 12, he fell and broke a leg. This injury left him bedridden. By the time he was 15, he weighed 300 pounds (136 kg), and he never left his home again. He spent his time talking on the telephone, reading the Bible, listening to gospel music, watching television and eating, especially eating. He spent most of his waking hours eating. His typical breakfast was composed of 32 link sausages, a pound of bacon, a dozen eggs, a loaf of bread with grape jelly and a pot of coffee. A typical lunch was two large sandwiches, a pile of fried potatoes and a large bottle of soda. An average dinner was four or five ham steaks, a half-dozen potatoes, a half-dozen cobs of corn, a bottle of soda and an apple pie. Between-meal-snacks consisted of a handful of candy bars, to keep up his energy, you know. All this was paid for mainly with a disability check he received because of his childhood injury.

The Ordeal of Walter Hudson

Not only did Walter Hudson never leave his home again, he hardly left his bed again, except to go to the bathroom. This was his only exercise. And it was a relatively rare occurrence since he could go weeks without moving his bowels. When he did, it took him an hour to navigate the 20 feet from his bed to the bathroom. It was on one of these excursions that he fell and got stuck in his bathroom door and had to be extricated by local fire, police and ambulance crews, who worked for four hours to set him free. This incident attracted national attention and made him a celebrity of sorts. He was featured in several magazines and TV shows, including People and Oprah. He also ran a plus-sized magazine and advocated for the rights of obese people.

The Death of Walter Hudson

Walter Hudson tried to lose weight after his ordeal. He claimed to have lost 670 pounds (304 kg) in three years, but this was never verified. He still weighed over 1,000 pounds (454 kg) when he died. On Christmas Eve 1991, he died of a heart attack at his home. On Christmas Day, just after midnight, police broke down a door, removed a wall and brought in a forklift to take his body out of the house. He was buried in a custom-made coffin that measured 54 by 40 inches (137 by 102 cm).

Walter Hudson’s cause of death was a result of his extreme obesity and lack of exercise. He was a victim of his own addiction to food and his inability to control his appetite. He was also a symbol of the dangers of obesity and the need for healthy lifestyle choices. His story is a sad and cautionary tale that should not be forgotten.