From King George IV to President Trump, The Fat Men Who’ve Ruled The World

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President Donald Trump’s medical report has elicited no shortage of raised eyebrows this week. Multiple outlets have questioned whether or not the president’s doctor was entirely truthful about his weight, with more than one news outlet posting comparisons between Trump and famous athletes with similar stats. The question is quite clearly whether or not the report understates the president’s weight, but even if it does, he wouldn’t be the first politically powerful man to be ribbed by the public for his weight. 

Two hundred years ago George, the Prince Regent of Britain, who (like Trump) weighed around 240 pounds for most of his life, was caricatured in the press as the most obese man in the country. The future George IV was so anxious about his reputation that he apparently had himself weighed in secret at the wine merchant’s Berry Brothers and Rudd. His efforts to conceal his true size were offset by his eating habits; a typical breakfast for the prince included several steaks, two pigeons, and 12 egg yolks baked in a pie accompanied by white wine, champagne, port, and brandy. There’s no telling if, like Trump, George preferred his steaks well done.

The phenomenon of portly monarchs is not only a modern one. The Bible mentions one Eglon, King of Moab (present day Jordan). Eglon was a successful ruler who conquered the Israelite tribes in the 12th century BCE. Apparently “Eglon was a very fat man” (Judges 3:17). When Ehud, an Israelite assassin, killed Eglon he had trouble extracting his sword from Eglon’s belly because “the fat closed over the blade.” In trying to get it out Ehud must have punctured Eglon’s bowel because the “dirt” came out of his body. It took some time for Eglon’s servants to notice that something was amiss; when they saw that the doors to the royal chamber were closed they assumed the king was relieving himself. Neither the stench nor the excessive wait seemed to alarm them. They waited so long that Ehud was able to escape, rally an army, and kill ten thousand Moabites. ...

Read entire article at The Daily Beast

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