The world’s oldest person has died in Italy at the
age of 117, reports say.
Emma Morano was born on 29 November 1899 in
the Piedmont region of Italy. She was officially the
last person born in the 1800s still living.
She had attributed her longevity to her genetics and
a diet of three eggs a day, two of them raw.
Ms Morano was the oldest of eight siblings, all of
whom she has outlived. She died at her home in the
northern city of Verbania.
Her life not only spanned three centuries but also
survived an abusive marriage, the loss of her only
son, two World Wars and more than 90 Italian
Ms Morano had admitted that her longevity was
partly down to genetics: her mother reached 91 and
several sisters reached their centenary.
But it was also down to a rather unusual diet of
three eggs – two raw – each day for more than 90
It was a regime she took up as a young woman,
after the doctor diagnosed her with anaemia shortly
after World War One.
She had cut down to just two eggs a day, and a
few biscuits recently.
Her doctor of 27 years, Carlo Bava, had told AFP
news agency that she rarely ate vegetables or fruit.
“When I met her, she ate three eggs per day, two
raw in the morning and then an omelette at noon,
and chicken at dinner.”
Ms Morano also credited her longevity to her
decision, in 1938, to kick out her husband – a year
after her baby boy died at just six months old,
reports the BBC.
The marriage had never been healthy, she said. She
had been in love with a boy who was killed during
World War One, and had no interest in marrying
But, she told La Stampa newspaper in an interview
when she was a spritely 112 that she was left with
“He told me: ‘If you’re lucky you marry me, or I’ll
kill you’. I was 26 years old. I got married.”
Eventually, it became too much. Though they
separated in 1938, they remained married until he
died in 1978. Ms Morano, who worked until she
was 75, chose never to marry again.
“I didn’t want to be dominated by anyone,” she told
the New York Times.
She had only taken on a full-time carer a couple of
years ago – but had not left her small two-room
apartment for 20 years.
According to the US-based Gerontology Research
Group (GRG), the world’s oldest human being is
now Jamaican Violet Brown, who was born on
March 10, 1900.