How tall is Joseph Stalin

Joseph Stalin's Height

5ft 6in (168 cm)

Infamous Russian Leader. President Truman's white house physician, Wallace H Graham, said in 1989 (trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/grahamw.htm): "Before I met him, I had thought he was a large man. I thought he would be a great big huge person, but no, he wasn't at all. He and Hitler were about the same height, approximately five feet, eight. I saw Hitler many, many times, and Goering and Goebbels. Stalin was a broad fellow, with a very heavily pock-marked face"

Stalin has also been described as 5ft 4,5,6...Harry Truman once commented in Life "I was surprised at Stalin's stature - he was not over 5 feet 5 or 6 inches tall. When we had pictures taken, he would usually stand on the step above me. Churchill would do the same thing."

Add a Comment 58 comments

Average Guess (8 Votes)
5ft 5.31in (165.9cm)
Adijos said on 21/Mar/17
5'6" is good listed!
RisingForce said on 3/Mar/17
Although it doesn't help my case, I did remember reading somewhere Khrushchev described as shorter than Stalin and Khrushchev seemed 5'5" range. This might have been in the Taubman Khrushchev bio.
RisingForce said on 9/Feb/17
That would be believable if Churchill was 5'6" flat then and it would make Stalin look a weak 5'5" in comparison assuming no footwear or photo trickery. Then again, I've heard Churchill was 5'6.5", which is also what he's listed here at so 5'7.5" would then make sense for Truman in comparison. Either way, I can't see Stalin less than an inch shorter than Churchill and no less than 2 inches shorter than Truman.
James said on 7/Feb/17
Truman might have been 5'8" as a young man, and 5'7" in 1945.
RisingForce said on 5/Feb/17
Graham is certainly wrong about Hitler and Stalin being the same height. Let's compare them to the same person. Hitler doesn't look much shorter than Ribbentrop, only an inch or so. Click Here Click Here Yet Ribbentrop nearly towers over Stalin Click Here Click Here Granted, I haven't ruled out Hitler being 5'9", which wouldn't support my Stalin argument,but if we have Hitler at only 5'8" then Stalin only looks about 5'5" or a fraction over compared to the same man and unlike Hitler, we can't see Stalin's feet, which is significant because of Truman's quote about Stalin trying to look taller in photos. Working off of the two people listed on this site for reference(Hitler and Churchill) then I'm seeing Truman more solid 5'7", possibly 5'7" and change and Ribbentrop about 5'9", for example, compare those 2 full photos of Hitler and Ribbentrop to Rob and his father in the 90's. This would put Stalin more 5'5" range, possibly between Truman's 2 estimates, but based on Churchill and Hitler's listings, I'm certainly not seeing a full 5'6".
RisingForce said on 3/Feb/17
Are we even sure Truman was 5'8"? Click Here Click Here He only looks about an inch taller than Churchill, who is unable to hold decent posture. Here's the 3 of them again, Click Here Sure, you can find some where Truman looks more decisively taller, but that's always the case. With the right angle and camera advantage, even Churchill can look taller than Truman. Click Here Either way, Churchill certainly looks closer to Truman's height than Stalin does. Stalin did have the childhood injury, which showed later in his shorter arm he couldn't move well, but I don't know that would make him lose any height.
RisingForce said on 3/Feb/17
5'1" is obviously too low, but I see no reason to believe there's some active intention among historians to make him shorter than he was. For what purpose? Nobody here that I know of is correlating short stature with evil, nor has anyone in any of the countless books on Stalin. His height has never been any more than a footnote of discussion in any of them. He looks like a weak 5'6" in that picture if we assume Truman is 5'8", but I believe there's a good chance he's wearing lifts even if it's only an extra inch, but if Churchill was only about 5'6" by that point then Stalin wasn't even passing for that tall since Churchill is usually quite hunched yet typically still looks taller. Stalin was born in 1878 in an area of Georgia that wasn't industrialized. Would 5'6" even be short for a man that generation and in that area? The stories of Stalin and his height didn't originate with the West. Bukharin had a lot to say about it, and Bukharin incidentally refused to denounce Stalin even when he was condemned to death for no crime.
Tunman said on 30/Jan/17
To be perfectly fair,I think many people like to diminish dictators stature in order to undermine them.Did Stalin deserve respect for his deeds?certainly not.BUT this shouldn't make him smaller than he actually was.Clearly western biographers aren't the best reference to describe his height.
Now what do we have?a 174 listing on a mugshot which,everyone will agree is unlikely,true.btw Josef Pilsudski was listed at 175cm when he barely seemed 2 maybe 2.5"max taller(in his mid 60's)than 5'4 Goebbels,so maybe 5'7" in his heydays.
Now back to Stalin 5'1-4 listings are pure jokes,there is no way he was that small,actually he looked about 5'7 with 178 Ribbentrop.Did he wear lifts?possible, but then he would still be around 5'6.He also looked at least similar if not fractionally taller than 5'6 Churchill in 1945 and looks like he wouldn't be any more than 2" shorter than Truman.Truman who said Stalin didn't look over 5'5-6...hmmm well,I think that he was confident about being comfortably taller than Stalin.Again did he wear lifts?then a 5'5 is possible in his mid 60's but no less.
In all objectivity I feel the whole debate is whether he could be 5'5-6 or rather 5'6-7(more likely at peak),and whether he was really complexed about his height to the point of ALWAYS wearing lifts?His acts were gruesome but correlating short stature with evil is a bit childish imo.
Editor Rob: beware historical propaganda that can turn untruths into accepted truths.

there is a lot of people who claim Truman was near 5ft 9, I've not looked in detail at him, but if he was 5ft 8 How could Stalin be 5ft 4.

The lace area of Truman's shoe is more curved than what I can tell from Stalin - if he had any sizeable lift it would be bulging a lot more.
RisingForce said on 28/Jan/17
If that's true then I doubt Stalin was any taller than 5'4" by that time, but because Stalin was only 4 years younger than Churchill, he could have been a bit taller in his prime than he was in his mid 60's so I think 5'4.5" is fair enough for his younger years. Truman's quote about standing on a higher step is telling because in addition to wearing lifts, Stalin was known to use a block or a step for some public appearances in the Soviet Union as well.
James said on 26/Jan/17
Churchill was no more than 5'6" by 1945.
RisingForce said on 24/Jan/17
He can look short with Truman as well Click Here And again with Truman and a hunched Churchill, who at about 70, couldn't have been more than 5-7ish Click Here Stalin's stance looks he's up on his toes a bit so he may have elevators. Here you can see his shoes are thicker and conceal more Click Here And here he's got a pretty thick pair of boots that could potentially conceal a lot. Click Here I see no reason to doubt the report of elevator shoes and it was said by others, most notably Bukharin that Stalin had a height complex. Of course, he shot Bukharin too! Anyway, perhaps he was 5'4.5" and he could pass for about 5'6" with elevator shoes.
RisingForce said on 24/Jan/17
For what it's worth, as someone absolutely fascinated by Stalin and reads as much as I can on him(for the record, I don't admire a man who killed possibly 20 million with absolute indifference, but he's a very interesting figure nonetheless) and the figure I've most frequently heard was 5'4". It may be of help to mention that N.K.V.D. officer K.V. Pauker supposedly got Stalin elevator shoes in the early 1930's. Apparently, they weren't good enough because Stalin had Pauker shot! But in any event this would explain his taller appearance. I've heard all the way down to 5'1"-5'2" in otherwise very credible books, but it's clear this can't be true, even with lifts. Churchill was said to be no more than 5'8" at his peak and he shrunk to closer to 5'6" later on. Here he's hunched and taller than Stalin who may have lifts. Click Here
Nik said on 22/Dec/16
@VeryShortRussianDude

Yes I agree with what you said. To be honest when I did quote the word dwarf I wasn't using it as an insult and I wasn't referring to anyone in particular or meaning it in a dirogatory way to any group of individuals either. I see midget as more dirogatory myself than the word dwarf but there's no way I would describe short men or women in a way that is insulting.
VeryShortRussianDude said on 21/Dec/16
Morons, throw around words like dwarf & midget to describe short men as a way to insult them, I'm sure even they know it's nonsense.

Stalin also never looked as short as 5'4, 5'6 - 5'6.5 is far more likely.
Nik said on 21/Dec/16
@Astorath

There is no way that he would be classed as anywhere near a dwarf, even even at 5'4".
Astaroth said on 19/Dec/16
Man was a dwarf, 5'4" and many sources confirm that
Giorgi said on 7/Dec/16

I don't know whether Stalin is wearing lifts or anything but must be hardly an inch shorter than repordtedly 5'8" Truman here.
Peter175 said on 5/Dec/16
5ft6 maximum. Looks 165-7 range
James said on 23/Nov/16
Police reports were notoriously inaccurate. Stalin began World War II by agreeing to invade Poland in conjunction with the Germans. He was 5'6" at most.
Dingus said on 21/Nov/16
I've read two biographies on Stalin. One stated that he was 5'07.50". It was based on a police report from his younger days. Another put him at 5'06.00", which was, according to the author, average for a man of his time in the Russian Empire/early USSR. I would be skeptical of repots of him below 5'06.00". They seem to be similar in nature to British claims of Napoleon being very small and are based more on political rivals trying to make them appear diminutive than truth.
Orlando said on 12/Mar/16
According to his Army physical record of May 1917 (aged 33) Harry Truman was 5ft 8in tall (Source: "Truman", by David McCullough, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1992, page 102): Click Here
The Master said on 15/Mar/15
Rob, the second picture link above is not working. I think he was 5'8" and needs an upgrade.
Panda said on 17/Feb/15
Hey Rob, I'm pretty sure Harry S. Truman was actually 5'8" because in his biography written by David McCollough it states towards the beginning of the book that when Truman went in for physical to join the army he was measured to be 5'8", an inch taller than the average recruit. Not sure if that makes a difference but I thought I'd point that out.

"Harry S. Truman's height is 5ft 8in (173 cm)"
gwp said on 13/Feb/15
According to History Channel and Smithsonian Channel, he was 5' 4" and had a life-long inferiority complex.
Orlando said on 13/Jul/14
Mr. Paul, if the man was listed 1.74 m in his police file, and in the photo with Churchill and Truman he looks about the same height as Churchill (5'8") and about 1-2 cm shorter than Truman (5'9") then in no way Stalin would ever be 5'6"! Please, put him at 5'8"!
stalin said on 18/Apr/14
was 5' 7"-8"-9"
176,2Tunman said on 14/Mar/14
Rob,if Graham said he was about 5'8 then we may assume he's near that mark,possibly a 5'7 wearing an inch lift? Honestly,he didn't look short in most pics.If he was measured 174 (possibly 173,5?)with normal shoes then he's probably 171 without them.169 in 1945 and 171 peak seems fair,he was a heavy drinker and his health wasn't really the best in 1945,so about 2cm loss is plausible at 66.Would you consider a little upgrade,Rob?
[Editor Rob: I think 5ft 6 is probably the low for him, maybe in his youth it is possible he was taller than his late 50's.]
JC said on 7/Mar/14
Stalin was 5'4"
THE_MAD_BOMBER said on 24/Jan/14
ALEX....STALIN WAS VERY SENSITIVE ABOUT BEING SHORT. HE HAD A SCULPTOR SHOT FOR DOING A STATUE OF HIM THAT DIDN'T MAKE HIM LOOK TALL.
mjd said on 14/Oct/13
Orlando: The picture is obviously deceiving.

If Churchill is 5'6-5'7, and Truman 5'9, then how can he be "About their heights"? They're different heights!

Here's the problem. In the picture, Truman is standing a foot back from Churchill and Stalin: this creates the illusion of Truman being smaller than he actually is. If both had been standing side by side to Truman, and not a foot forward, I think the 5'6-5'7 height range for Stalin would hold up.

Now, as for the soviet documents - maybe it's forged? Joseph Stalin wouldn't be beyond trying to be bigger than he actually was. Or, conversely, Stalin may wear serious footware that helps him pull off 5'8, hence the impression Wallace H Graham had of him being the same size as Hitler.
Hias said on 28/Jul/13
It could have been a mistake. Police files aren't free from errors
Orlando said on 4/May/13
If Stalin's mugshot Click Here clearly shows him listed at 1.74 m (maybe 1.72 m barefoot) and in the photo with Churchill and Truman he looks about their heights, I don't understand why you keep him listed short at 5ft 6in when in fact he was an average tall man...
Alex said on 29/Jan/13
Honestly, he could claim up to 6'6'' and no one would dare to even remotely object at the time.
Will said on 22/Aug/11
Stalin was 5'6 1/4".
Iluminata said on 27/May/11
Stalin was using elevator shoes and I think his height was 165-170 cm.
TruebloodFan said on 19/May/11
@Delia says on 15/Feb/11
Joseph Goebbels was 5 feet, 4.2 inches. I took all the measurements in 27 different websites and did the median, and this is what I came up with. Anyone who does not believe me is...CRAZY!!!! BOO YAH!

I've also read in the newspaper Goebbels was 164cm and that he had major sexual appetite for women in their mid 30s. he was perverted in many ways.

Stalin didn't look short. He always looked around 5ft8. The photo of him with Lenin was never really taken so that makes it useless.
Fed said on 6/Apr/11
171 cm (5 ft 7,5) - clinical record
Click Here
Delia said on 15/Feb/11
Joseph Goebbels was 5 feet, 4.2 inches. I took all the measurements in 27 different websites and did the median, and this is what I came up with. Anyone who does not believe me is...CRAZY!!!! BOO YAH!
The Historian said on 9/Feb/11
How can you conclude 168 cm, when all historical records suggest somewhere between 172 & 175? That's a mystery to me! I may add yet another personal anecdote: One of my (late) granddad's friends had been a convinced communist in the thirties & fourties, and been to Moscow.. I remember him some 25 years ago saying something like "He (Stalin) was about my built with a scared face..." My granddads (now late)friend was about 173-75 & heaviely built...
Sam said on 26/Dec/10
I looked at a lot of video clips of him and he never looks short, sometimes a little tallish, sometimes shortish, but always average. Lenin for a fact was 5'5, and he was noticeably shorter than everyone around him. Plus there's a record of Stalin being 174cm in his youth, and Truman said he was 5'8. I think it's pathetic and rude to short people to put stalin at 5'6.
gg said on 8/Dec/10
5'6"??
Akirum byn Anaq said on 7/Sep/07
BTW Hitler was 5-8 to 5-8 1/2 and I find it hard to imagine Dugashbili only 2" inferior.
Akirum byn Anaq said on 7/Sep/07
Stalin was 2 archin 4½ vershoks. 5 feet 4 inches at 23. Perhaps he grew a few millimeters above that at his prime, though unlikely. We need to list Stalin at 5 feet 4, not 5 feet 6.
Kevin said on 26/Aug/07
Wait... let me revise my previous statement. Mao Zedong was probably 5'11, but POSSIBLY 6'0" according to another website I went to. 6'0" would be roughly 183 cm tall! Wow... but that would mean Mao was slouching big time in that phot of yours, Hombre.
Kevin said on 26/Aug/07
To Hombre: Actually, Mao Zedong was 5'11. (180-181 cm approx.) I know, Mao's much taller than I thought myself. Does anyone know how tall Chiang Kai-Shek was?
Heinrich said on 24/Aug/07
Stalin was one of the shorter WWII leaders (next to Hirohito and probably Tojo) I'd say he's around 5'4 (anything less than 5'6), Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Adolf Hilter, Harry Truman, Chiang Kai-Shek, Mao Zedong and definately Douglas MacArthur were all taller than him.
Steevn said on 16/Aug/07
"that was the most primitive thing some one could have ever said Anonymous. What you said was so stupid and incredile as it seems. Is one of the reasons why humans haven't progressed in society as they have in science and math. Thanks to individuals like you who keep on reproducing."

What that guy said has some truth to it, the book he got it from probably explained it better though. No need for alarm... you wimp.


Oh and Stalin looks shorter than 168cm in almost every picture I´ve seen him. I´d say 5 ft 4 in.
hombre said on 13/Aug/07
how tall was Mao Zedong?

Click Here



175 cm?
Anshelm said on 5/Mar/07
Note that 2 archin 4½ vershoks converts more precisely to 5 ft 3⅞ in. This has significance for his metric height, making him 162 cm rather than 163.
Jim said on 10/Oct/06
The media still presents a Stalin of stalwart proportions, and camera angles seem to show him as tall as Churchill, but infact he was a legitimate 5 ft 4 according to his police records from 1902, which state that he was "2 archin, 4 1/2 vershoks" in height. An Archin is 28", a vershok 1.75 inches.
JW said on 9/Oct/06
The earliest Police/medical files mention a Iosif Djugashvili: "Height 2 archins, 4 1/2 vershoks. Body medium. Age 23." Click Here Click Here

An archin is 28 inches, and a vershok 1 3/4 inches; This puts Stalin at 5 ft 4 inches during the prime of his life. The measurement likely does not include his shoes, as it seems he had a physician measure him and note his physical particulars as he was imprisoned for a long period.

I believe that giving Stalin a credit of 5 ft 6 is too generous, when the clearest, earliest proof shows he was infact 5 ft 4. Even if you look carefully at the Yalta conferences, with a comperison next to Truman he looks only a bit taller than this, probably thanks to camera angles and a 1-inch lift.
Anonymous said on 11/Sep/06
that was the most primitive thing some one could have ever said Anonymous. What you said was so stupid and incredile as it seems. Is one of the reasons why humans haven't progressed in society as they have in science and math. Thanks to individuals like you who keep on reproducing.
Gotxo said on 24/Aug/06
Nice finding Orlando.

The problem is that a recent History channel on Stalin and Hitler ("paralel lives" or such) gives him 5'6" and insist that this was a partial reason for his insecurities (the main one a brutal beating father).
On the other hand comunist propaganda was very famous for photo editing, removing whole persons from old official pics, when they were state-murdered or imprisioned. The letters on posters and banners are ofthen changed too, in one Lenin is givin a discourse in a square crowded by people. In the original photo was a banner from a jewerly, wich was erased as it was not fitting comunist propaganda.
Anonymous said on 2/Apr/06
H.itler, stalin and churchill were short men . Short men get power through the use of their mind and then use large men to carry out the physical side of power. Most short men have an inferiority complex about their size and many short leaders use lifts or surround themselves with smaller men. Ruling is far easier if one is tall and large as the animal kingdom shows. However not all large men have the magnetic charisma required to be a leader. simple psychology.
hombre said on 6/Mar/06
Pretty cool that im in same height-range as Stalin. :)
Buster said on 8/Jan/06
Pretty much the same range as Andre The Giant at over a foot shorter!

I suppose there's a possibilty that the history books are biased against him, as he isn't the most well liked of historic figures.
A-Bomb said on 7/Jan/06
Hmmm. I'm really not sure about this one. Every history book I've ever read on Stalin has spoken of his height complex and his use of platform shoes. Maybe he was the original lifts user. I would look at all pictures of him dubiously.

[Editor Rob: I was doing some more reading into this guy and yes, I think he could pull off looking taller to people but the lifts issue and his dodgy boots makes me think the oft-quoted mention of his elevator shoes is enough to list him lower...5ft 1-3, which has been mentioned seems improbable though...but down he goes! 5ft 4 though? Hmmm, the range for this guy is pretty astounding. I've read 5ft 1 up to 5ft 6...]
hombre said on 7/Jan/06
Cool,I am 1 cm taller than him. :)

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