Italy's Emma Morano, the World's Oldest Person, Dies at 117

Italy's Emma Morano, the World's Oldest Person, Dies at 117

According to her grandchildren, Morano, who lived through two world wars, knew 11 popes and 12 Italian Presidents, died peacefully in her sleep. "When I first met her she ate three eggs a day, two raw in the morning and then an omelette at noon, and chicken at dinner".

She clung to her independence, only taking on a full-time carer last year, though she has not left her small two-room apartment for 20 years, and has been bed-bound for the last year.

"She reached an incredible finish line", said Verbania Mayor Silvia Marchionini.

Born in 1899, Morano lived through two world wars and 20 United States presidents. But a year ago Rosi Santoni, one of the relatives who helped look after her, said she had plenty of family to care for her and had many friends in the town. She lost a boyfriend in the First World War, and then married a quite abusive man, whom she did not love, according to local media.

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Robert Young, director of the Los Angeles-based GRG's Supercentenarian Research and Database Division, said he had been following Morano 's progress for the past seven years, calling her an example of "super-ageing individuals who seem to age at a slower rate than normal - maybe even a few percentage points slower, but enough to make a difference". An Italian doctor says Emma Morano, at 117 the world's oldest person, has died in her home in northern Italy.

She attributed her longevity to leaving her husband in 1938 shortly after the death of her only child at the age of seven months, and to the inclusion in her daily diet of two raw eggs and a little raw minced meat. "I was 26 years old".

"'Either you agree to marry me or I will kill you'", Morano said, recalling his proposal.

Morano had a Guinness World Records certificate declaring her to be the oldest person alive.

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Morano's genetics likely played a big factor in the longevity of her life.

She worked in a jute factory and at a boarding school kitchen. "For years, she has eaten the same thing every day, not much vegetables or fruit".

The title of oldest living person in the world now goes to Violet Brown of Jamaica, aged 117, born on March 10, 1900.

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