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

"She had an extraordinary life, and we will always remember her strength to help us move forward in life", Silvia Marchionini said, according to local media cited by the BBC. Morano, who was born in the village of Civiasco in northern Italy, made a practice of eating raw eggs for almost a century, ever since she was diagnosed with anemia at the age of 20.

"I didn't want to be dominated by anyone", she told The New York Times. That was 30 years before divorce became legal in Italy. She was discovered not breathing in her home by her caretaker on Saturday, and was eventually confirmed dead by the physician who looked after her over the last 25 years.

In an interview with AFP a year ago, she put her longevity down to her diet.

"I eat two eggs a day, and that's it".

Carlo Bava, Morano's doctor for decades, told the AP he last visited with the 117-year-old on Friday and "she thanked me and held my hand" as she usually did.

She also refused to be taken to hospital, with the exception of a cataract operation.

She attributed her long lifespan to eating eggs and cookies daily - but hardly any fruit.




But she kept her sense of humour till the end. "I think I was one of the first in Italy to do that", she said.

'She was slowly fading away, ' he said.

"Her sense of humour is her therapy".

Emma was the oldest of 8 siblings and outlived them all. "Today she has slowed down a bit, reducing the number to two some days because she says three can be too much", her doctor, Carlo Bava, said a year ago.

In her 117 years of life, Morano lived through two World Wars, an abusive marriage, the death of her son, and upwards of 90 different governments in her home country.

Morano's death means there is no one living known to have been born before 1900.

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