The world's shortest man, Chandra Bahadur Dangi of Nepal, died in American Samoa in the Pacific early Friday following a brief illness , a family friend said in Mumbai.
"Today, our circus is flooded with tears at the loss of the world's smallest man...whom we lovingly called Prince Chandra," said Sujit Dilip, owner of India's well-known Rambo Circus, based in Pune.
According to Dilip, the 75-year old Dangi was admitted due to old-age related problems in a local hospital a few days ago.
In the final days, he was put on life-support systems, but the best efforts of the medicos failed to revive him and he breathed his last early hours of Friday.
The end came in a remote island in the Pacific region, thousands of kms away from his home in Nepal.
Standing all of 21.5 inches (54.6 cms) tall, Dangi held the current Guinness World Record for the shortest man on earth till his demise.
In March this year, he was hosted by Rambo Circus in Mumbai and he played for the audiences and greeted with resounding cheers at his show.
Accompanied by his nephew Dholak, he and other artistes of Rambo Circus were on a major tour of the South Pacific region with the Tupa'l Bruno's Magic Circus, Samoa.
Both Rambo Circus and Tupa'l Bruno's Circus are member of the Federation Mondiale du Cirque, the international body representing circuses globally, and exchange artistes in cross-cultural programmes, he added.
Due to his age, Dangi, weighing just 12 kg, subsisted on a limited diet of a small portion of rice with a piece of chicken, and spent most of the time travelling around the world at guest appearances in shows.
In the ongoing tour in the South Pacific, he had teamed up with Sultan Kosen, a Turkish-Kurdish farmer who is the Guinness World Record holder for the tallest living male at 2.51 metres.
Prior to his recognition by GWR and subsequent global attention, Dangi spent a simple life weaving baskets and ropes in his native hilly village in Nepal.
Dilip said it was not yet clear when and where Dangi's cremation would take place since there is no crematorium in American Samoa and it would take at least four days to send the body to Nepal from there.