The world's shortest man, He Pingping, who stood 2-feet, 5-inches tall, has died at the age of 21, news.com.au reported.

He — a native of China who had a form of primordial dwarfism — was in Rome filming a television show when he developed chest problems.

He was taken to hospital, where he died over the weekend. The exact cause of death is not yet known.

Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief of London-based Guinness World Records, recalled measuring He in the northern Chinese region of Inner Mongolia in 2008.

"For such a small man, he made a huge impact around the world," Glenday said. "From the moment I laid on eyes on him, I knew he was someone special — he had such a cheeky smile and mischievous personality, you couldn't help but be charmed by him."

Guinness World Records said it would announce He's successor as the world's shortest man in due time.

Khagendra Thapa Magar, 18, of Nepal, who is reportedly 1 foot, 8 inches tall, declared in February that he is the rightful holder of the title.

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