Think Napoleon was Short? Think Again

How tall was Napoleon?

Whenever the name Napoleon Bonaparte is mentioned, it inevitably brings up images of a short man, laboring under the psychological burden of his diminished physical stature. There’s only one problem with this well-known historical fact: it isn’t true.

Legends about Napoleon’s shortness stem from reports, including his autopsy, that placed his height at 5 foot 2 inches. The confusion comes from the fact that France used a different system of measurement at the time. The French inch was longer than that used in the English-speaking world. When converted into standard measurement, Napoleon actually stood in the neighborhood of 5 foot 7 inches, the same height as John Adams and Alexander Hamilton.

So much for well-established history, and so much for the “Napoleon Complex.”


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