World's oldest person, last known to be born in 1800's, dies at 117

The world's oldest person and the last known to have been born in the 1800s died Saturday.

Emma Morano, 117, of Italy died Saturday afternoon, AFP and the Associated Press reported. Dr. Carlo Bava told the AP that she died while sitting in a rocking chair in her home, located in the Northern Italy town of Verbania.

“She didn’t suffer. I’m happy she didn’t suffer but passed away that way, tranquilly,” Bava said.

Born on Nov. 29, 1899, Morano's life spanned three centuries. She was believed to be the last-surviving person born in the 1800s after Susannah Mushatt Jones, 116, of New York City, died in May 2016.

Morano was the oldest of eight children. Her siblings all preceded her in death, including a sister who lived to be 102.

She worked in a jute factory and at a boarding school kitchen. She retired at 75, more than 40 years ago.

She married Giovanni Martinuzzi in 1926 and in 1937, gave birth to her only child, who died just months later. She separated from Martinuzzi the next year, but never divorced him.

She ate a raw egg every day and credited her longevity to her diet, she told Italian newspaper La Stampa.

"For breakfast I eat biscuits with milk or water," she said. "Then during the day I eat two eggs — one raw and one cooked — just like the doctor recommended when I was 20 years old. For lunch I'll eat pasta and minced meat then for dinner, I'll have just a glass of milk."

Sleep also was important. She went to bed before 7 p.m. and arose before 6 a.m.

Bava, who said Morano's caretaker gave him the news, chalked up her longevity to genetics.

"From a strictly medical and scientific point of view," he told AP, "she can be considered a phenomenon."

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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