Fidel Castro Height

"A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past."

~ Fidel Castro

Cuban revolutionary and the leader of Cuba from 1959 to 2008, Fidel Castro needs no introduction. He was one of the most loved, hated, interesting, and talked-about people of his time.

Fidel was a larger-than-life personality, especially in Cuba where he was the supreme leader of the nation. But how tall was he actually?

Here is how Wikipedia describes his height:

"At over 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) tall with a few inches added from his combat boots, Castro usually towered over most foreign leaders he met with, giving him a dominating presence in any room or photo that was taken, which he used to his advantage."

We have no doubt that Fidel Castro was over six feet tall but six-three might be stretching it out a bit. Even in Fidel's own autobiography (by Ignacio Ramonet, with Fidel Castro as co-author) he is described as 1.85 meters (almost 6'1") tall. The passage reads as:

"Before his health crisis in late July 2006, Castro, despite his age, was a man of impressive physique -- tall (1.85 meters, a little over six feet), athletic, robust."

In 2006, Fidel would have been 80 years old, clearly not in his prime anymore. Most people, especially the taller ones, start losing height long before that age. So if Fidel was almost 6'1" at the age of 80, then he clearly would have been taller in his youth -- 6-feet-3 inches really?

Well, not so fast, there are a lot of old photos of him on the internet, some of them are with people of well-known heights, like Richard Nixon who was by his own claim 5-feet-11½ inches tall, or with a 6-feet-2½" inches tall Muhammad Ali.

From observing those photos, it seems to us that Fidel Castro was closer to 6-feet-1 inches than 6-feet-3 inches. Perhaps the autobiography described the height of his prime, believing that he would have been still that tall in his 80s, or perhaps the number 6'3" was just plain old good propaganda to make him seem even bigger -- larger than life.

In any case, Fidel could have been considered very big by Cuban standards -- especially in his time, when the average male height of Cuba was no more than 5-feet-6 inches.

The real height of Fidel Castro was

6'1¼" or 186 cm

Fidel Castro and Che Guevara height comparison
Fidel Castro with Che Guevara (we believe his height could have been between 5'8" to 5'9")

For reference, here is the average human height around the world.

Country Male Female
Indonesia 5'4" 4'11"
India 5'5½" 5'½"
Mexico 5'6½" 5'1½"
China 5'6½" 5'1½"
Japan 5'7½" 5'2½"
Brazil 5'8" 5'3"
Russia 5'9" 5'3¾"
United States 5'9¼" 5'4"
United Kingdom 5'9½" 5'4¼"
Canada 5'10" 5'4½"
Australia 5'10" 5'4½"
Germany 5'10½" 5'5"
Netherlands 5'11½" 5'6"

Most of the data was collected from official sources. A more detailed chart can be found here.

"The equal right of all citizens to health, education, work, food, security, culture, science, and wellbeing - that is, the same rights we proclaimed when we began our struggle, in addition to those which emerge from our dreams of justice and equality for all inhabitants of our world - is what I wish for all."

~ Fidel Castro