How Michael Hebranko, One of the Heaviest Men in the World, Died of Morbid Obesity

Michael Hebranko was an American man who suffered from an extreme case of morbid obesity and was one of the heaviest men in the world. He once weighed 1,100 pounds and had a waist size of 110 inches. He died on July 25, 2013, at the age of 60, due to complications from his condition. This article will explore his life, his weight loss journey, and his cause of death.

Early Life and Weight Gain

Michael Hebranko was born on May 14, 1953, in Brooklyn, New York, to Michael Hebranko Sr. and Jeanette Pica. His paternal grandfather was a Ukrainian immigrant. Hebranko had a normal weight until he was 10 years old, when he started to overeat and gain weight rapidly. He was bullied at school for his size and developed low self-esteem and depression. He dropped out of high school and became a recluse, spending most of his time at home eating junk food and watching TV.

By the time he was 30, he weighed over 900 pounds and could barely move. He was bedridden and dependent on his family and friends for his daily needs. He suffered from various health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and skin infections. He also had difficulty breathing and sleeping. He tried several diets and weight loss programs, but none of them worked for him. He felt hopeless and suicidal.

Weight Loss and Fame

In 1988, Hebranko decided to make a change in his life and contacted Richard Simmons, a famous fitness guru and TV personality. Simmons agreed to help him and arranged for him to be admitted to St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City, where he underwent a strict diet and exercise regimen. He also received psychological counseling and support from Simmons and his staff.

Hebranko amazed everyone by losing 700 pounds in 19 months, dropping his weight from 906 pounds to 200 pounds and his waist size from 110 inches to 36 inches. He also had surgery to remove excess skin and fat. He was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest recorded weight loss in 1990. He became a celebrity and appeared on various TV shows, such as The Howard Stern Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and the British chat show Wogan. He also toured the United States lecturing about his experiences and advocating dieting and exercise. He appeared in infomercials promoting Richard Simmons and his products.

Weight Regain and Death

However, Hebranko’s success was short-lived. He soon relapsed into his old habits and started to binge eat again. He gained back all the weight he had lost and more. He became depressed and isolated himself from the public. He was hospitalized several times for his obesity-related complications and had to be transported by a special ambulance or a forklift. He also developed an addiction to painkillers and alcohol.

In June 1999, he reached his peak weight of 1,100 pounds. He then underwent another weight loss program and managed to lose 600 pounds by 2007. However, he could not maintain his weight and continued to struggle with his condition. He also suffered from kidney failure and had to undergo dialysis. He died on July 25, 2013, at a nursing home in Queens, New York. The cause of death was morbid obesity.


Michael Hebranko was a man who lived a life of extremes. He was one of the heaviest men in the world and also one of the most successful weight losers. He inspired many people with his story and his courage, but he also faced many challenges and difficulties. He died of morbid obesity, a condition that affects millions of people around the world. His story serves as a reminder of the dangers of obesity and the importance of healthy living.

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