Mal da Udal: the world’s most famous dwarf who was loved on both sides of the ocean
Despite his small stature, Charles Stratton became so famous in his time that all of America, Europe, and Asia spoke of him. He was rich, famous, talented, loved by people, wrote about him in the Newspapers. Charles proved by his own example that you don’t have to be tall and handsome to get the sincere affection of people.
The most famous dwarf in history is Charles Sherwood Stratton. He was born on January 4, 1838 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. His parents were of normal height, and Charles was born a very large child weighing 4.5 kg.However, when he was six months old, he suddenly stopped growing. And when he was four years old, he was still the same size as when he was six months old.
Phineas Taylor Barnum, founder of the world-famous Barnum and Bailey Circus, found Charles just when he was 4 years old. After signing a contract with the child’s father, Barnum took Charles in and began coaching him to perform. The kid was taught singing lessons, pantomime, and was taught to portray famous people. Charles, despite his height, was very capable, and it wasn’t long before he was performing in front of new York audiences.
Just a year later, when Charles was five, Barnum took him on a tour of Europe. After crossing the ocean, the circus began to tour European countries and immediately became a sensation, and Charles – at that time he had already received the stage name General Tom-Tam (Tom Thumb, “Tom thumb”) became the main star of the performances. The boy even performed before Queen Victoria, and a little later performed his numbers at the Vaudeville theater in Paris. The best scenes, the famous audience-the success was simply incredible.
The boy became popular throughout Europe, he toured with the circus not only in Europe, but also in America, and even in Japan. General Fact-There was a real celebrity on a global scale. By the age of 18, he had grown a little more, and now he was almost 90 centimeters tall. Fame brought Charles a lot of money, and in the end he became so rich that when his former master Barnum went bankrupt, General Tom-Tam made a deal with him, making him his business partner, and thus saved him from complete bankruptcy.
When Charles was 25 years old, he married Lavinia Warren, a sweet girl who, like him, was a dwarf. They were married in a Church in new York and had a big celebration at the Metropolitan hotel. All the Newspapers wrote about this event, and the news was on the front page. The newlyweds were even received at the White house by President Lincoln.
Together with his wife, Charles continued to travel and perform in Europe and Asia. He continued to put on shows, even when he was already over 40 and his height increased to 102 cm.At some point, he decided to leave the performances aside and settled in America with his wife. General Tom-Tam died of a stroke at the age of 45 at his home in Massachusetts. Ten thousand people attended his funeral.
His wife Lavinia died 35 years later.