Illinois History Minutes

June 3 Illinois History Minute


It’s June Third, and we’re one day away from the birthday of Robert Earl Hughes, who lived most of his life in the little town of Fishhook in Pike County --- although he was born in Missouri in 1926. The Guinness Book of World Records lists Hughes as the heaviest person on record able to walk unassisted, with a confirmed weight of one thousand forty-one pounds. Those who knew him remembered Hughes as good-natured and intelligent, a man who dreamed of seeing the world, but whose travels were mostly limited to carnival tours. Hughes died in 1958 at the age of 32.

The song is “People Get Ready”, written by Curtis Mayfield and recorded by his group, the Impressions. Mayfield was born in Chicago on this day in 1942.