Italy's Emma Morano, the world's oldest person, dies at 117

Posted April 16, 2017

Ms Morano, who was the oldest of eight siblings, died at her home in the northern city of Verbania. Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness tweeted his congratulations to her. Emma Morano, an Italian woman believed to have been the oldest person alive and the last survivor of the 19th century, died Saturday at the age of 117, Italian media reported.

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 didn't suffer. I'm happy she didn't suffer but passed away that way, tranquilly", Bava said Saturday.

A parchment with the papal blessing hangs on a wall in Emma Morano's home in Verbania, Italy. She was born shortly after the first petroleum-powered vehicle was produced by Karl Benz, and just a few years before the Wright Brothers defied gravity and took to the skies.

"How does my hair look", she asked before blowing out the candles on her 117th birthday cake previous year.

"My life wasn't so nice", Ms Morano said last November on her 117th birthday.

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Her first love died in World War I, but she married later and left her violent husband just before the Second World War and shortly after the death in infancy of her only son. "We will always remember the strength (she possessed) for moving forward, her combative attitude against adversity", said Verbania Mayor Silvia Marchionini.

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

Some doctors had warned her against eating three eggs daily, which she did for years, but she ignored their advice.

Morano worked in a factory until she was 65, according to Reuters. She was considered a good dancer with a attractive singing voice in her youth.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School visited her in 2014 as part of a study into immunity to diseases, the Italian news agency ANSA said.

Emma Morano aged 115 in 2015. With three eggs everyday, fresh Italian pasta and a plate of raw meat, she followed her spectacular diet for around 90 years.