Not Only Nearly Dead

He's really most sincerely dead. Meinhardt Raabe, one of the last surviving "Munchkins," passed away at 94. He was a pilot, among other things:
Mr. Raabe received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1937, and an M.B.A. from Drexel University in Philadelphia in 1970. A skilled aviator, he served stateside in the Civil Air Patrol in World War II, by all accounts the smallest pilot in uniform.
I though this was interesting. He had no real idea of being a little person until a trip to the World's Fair.
Though he never surpassed 4 feet 7 inches at his tallest (he continued to grow till he was in his 30s), he did not hear the word “dwarf,” or even “midget,” until he was a young adult. No one in his community had seen a person with dwarfism before. Growing up, he later said, he assumed there was no one else in the world like him.
That changed in 1933, when the young Mr. Raabe visited the Midget Village at the Chicago World’s Fair. There before his eyes was a world of men and women just like him. Thrilled, he took a job as a barker there the next summer.
It's interesting both that people just thought he was short and that a midget village, which presumably we'd think of as demeaning today, was a refuge for him.