The late, great Jim Morrison is officially listed at 5'11" (180 cm), and it is easy to see why he would be listed as this height. He clearly appeared over the average height for his day of 5'9" (175.3 cm), held a thin frame, had big hair, and favored thicker heel shoes.
So was this just an illusion to hide the truth of his height, or was he really that tall?
What Was Jim's Real Height?
Jim Morrison was a solid 5'10" (177.8 cm) tall, waking up at close to 5'11" (180.3 cm) and going to bed around 5'10". He was over average height for his day, and he reached very close to the 6 feet mark in his heeled boots. His big hair, slender frame, and footwear helped him look on the taller side most of the time.
Arrest reports often show inaccurate heights. In 2 separate arrest reports of Jim, when he was 18 and 26, they stated 5'9" as his height. This is certainly not a measurement with his boots on. He was at his adult height here and here.
Although these reports could have been inaccurate, or rounded down, for them to state the same height does hold some strength to this investigation.
His California drivers license reported him to be both 5'11 and 6" tall. This is most likely a self-reported measurement. There is also little reason to claim 5'11" if you are really 6 feet tall, so he was most likely stating his height in his 1.5-2" boots for the taller measurement.
No One Here Gets Alive (Biography)
On page 32 of Jim's biography, it says that upon graduating from high school Jim actually stood at 5'8.75" tall. He wasn't best pleased with this height and started stretching to gain height. Apparently, it worked, and he grew over an inch due to this.
This puts Jim at around 5'10" tall, which I believe he is.
What Others Say
In an interview with The Guardian in 2020, The Doors member John Densmore (5'7") described first meeting Jim, as "tall, bookish and handsome". He did not state the actual height Jim was, but to state this as his first impression means that Jim was most likely over average height, wearing thick heeled boots, or both. (1)
This is further reinforced through band members Ray and John's autobiographies, as they seem sure that Jim was hanging around the 6 foot mark or a little under it.
The issue here is that they may have been deceived by the footwear Jim used, as he loved boots with a large heel, and this can easily make a 5'10" man appear in the 6 feet range.
Clothing + Footwear
Morrison used to wear black leather pants/shirts that produced a streamlined, vertical look. He also clearly favored thicker heeled boots that added 1.5-2 inches of height. Akin to Elvis Presley, his style fitted seamlessly with higher-heeled shoes and this would make him appear a tall, lengthy figure.
During his early/mid-career with The Doors Jim's weight was around 135-145 lbs. This provided him with a slender figure and helped create the illusion of length, and a taller figure.
Similar to Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrisons thick, curly hair was huge. It would add a little height. Also, when looking at him this would also draw attention upwards and help to make him look taller.
All of the above combined were a perfect combination for exuding a genuinely tall presence.
Comparing Him to Band Mates
Due to continuously changing footwear, height differences can vary, but if we look at many pictures of Jim with his bandmates, we can gain a better understanding of the height range he fell into.
John Densmore 5'7.5" (171.5 cm)
Jim looks a comfortable 2-2.5 inches taller than John in most photos. This puts Jim around 5'9.5-5'10".
Robby Krieger 5'8'.5" (174 cm)
Jim generally appears around 1.5inches taller than Robby. This puts Jim's height in the 5'10" range.
Ray Manzarek 6'0'' (182.9 cm)
A self-claimed 6 feet tall (believable), Ray consistently seems a comfortable 2-2.5 inches taller than Jim. This puts Jim's height at 5'9.5" - 5'10".
I have taken into consideration the evidence provided, such as 2 arrest reports Jim at 5'9", his bio stating he was at one point 5'8.75" but stretched himself to gain over an inch of height, and his claims of 5'11 and 6" on his driver's license.
Also when comparing him to his bandmates and those around him, it is clear that he did in fact stand somewhere in the 5'10" height range, give or take 1cm either way.
With all this info, I will conclude that Jim Morrison's height was 5'10" (177.8 cm) tall.
- Pamela Courson, Wife, 5'2" (157.5 cm)
- John Densmore, 'The Doors' member, 5'7.5" (171.5 cm)
- Robby Krieger, 'The Doors' member, 5'8'.5" (174 cm)
- Ray Manzarek, 'The Doors' member, 'The Doors' member
1: The Guardian: Doors drummer John Densmore: ‘It took me years to forgive Jim Morrison’