Mr He suffered chest pains while taking part in a television show in Rome. He was taken to hospital but passed away on Saturday. It is understood he died of heart complications.
Born in the northern Chinese region of Inner Mongolia, Mr He had a form of primordial dwarfism. His father He Yun had reportedly said that when Mr He was born he was small enough to fit into his parent’s hands.
Mr He was officially recognised as the world’s smallest man by the Guinness World Records in 2008.
Guinness World Records said it would announce Mr He's successor.
Khagendra Thapa Magar, 18, from Nepal, who is reportedly 20 inches (51 centimetres) high, declared in February that he is the rightful holder of the title.
He Pingping with world's tallest man, Turkish Sultan Kosen
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