Gogea Mitu was the tallest Romanian to have ever lived. He had an astounding height of almost 2 and a half meters who also made him a celebrity in his own country and Europe. He was dubbed “Goliat of Romania” after the Biblical giant slain by David the shepherd boy. The man worked for the Globus circus before being co-opted into the boxing world by Umberto Lancia, a famous Italian scout.
The tallest Romanian from the beginning of the 20th century was born in 1914 near Craiova, Dolj county, Romania, and he died early of age at 22. Despite having the traits of a giant, the man was healthy as an ox. He started learning how to read and write on his own, when he was 10 years of age he couldn’t fit inside the school desk anymore, like a normal child would. When he was 17 he enrolled in the Globus circus of Bucharest where he could easily bend steel bars for the unconditional admiration of the people who gathered to watch him in amazement.
In 1934, Italian scout Umberto Lancia noticed the giant and offered to sponsor his boxing career. After finishing the boxing school in Paris, Gogea Mitu, which means “Gogea the Myth,” like his name was predestined, started practicing this sport and obtained tremendous success, knocking out every opponent coming his way. Only Bergam the German was an honorable match for the Romanian giant because he was over 2 meters himself. Everyone thought that Mitu (The Myth) will be an unstoppable force in boxing since his strength and size were a clear indicator of success. The Americans loved him and couldn’t wait to see him fight live. However, the tides of faith were not in his favor, and the giant died of tuberculosis in 1936, at only 22 years of age.
Constanta Burada, niece of the imposing Gogea Mitu, offered more details about the suspicious circumstances of his death to the local newspaper: “My uncle was an intelligent man, he liked jokes and had a funny way of speaking. He seemed mature ever since he was a child; he learn how to read all on his own, and at 11 years of age he couldn’t fit inside the school bench. A big circus in Prague offered Gogea a job, so the giant told to his dad laughing the situation off: ‘It’s ok dad, you always whine that no girl from the village will ever take me. If I go to the circus I’ll may wed a trapeze woman, and she’ll be able to reach me.”
While heading back from Paris, the giant opened the train window and caught a flu. He ended up in a hospital after his manager advised him to take precautions, and that was the last time Gogea “The Myth” was seen alive. His relatives found him at the hospital’s morgue already “packed” and weren’t allowed to perform an autopsy. The main cause of death appeared to be tuberculosis. But can the official cause of death be trusted?
According to the relatives of the 2.42-meters (8 feet) giant, someone injected a lethal serum into his belly, fact discovered after a closer examination of his body. So who’s interest was it to kill the boxing giant that could have made history? Was he murdered for the high stakes involved? Or maybe because of his imposing stature that, if heavily exposed by the media, would offer proof that a race of giants once roamed the earth, and the legacy of that race was carried on by him.