World's oldest person and last known survivor of the 1800s Emma Morano dies at 117

Patrick Grafton-Green
Emma Morano has died at the age of 117, reports say: Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images

The world's oldest person has died in Italy at the age of 117, reports say.

Emma Morano, who was born on November 29, 1899, was officially the last surviving person in the world who was born in the 1800s.

She put her longevity down to genetics, being single and her diet of three eggs, two of them raw, each day for more than 90 years.

Ms Morano died on Saturday in her home in the city of Verbania, northern Italy, according to local media.

Emma Morano celebrating her 117th birthday last year (Antonio Calanni/AP)

"She had an extraordinary life, and we will always remember her strength to help us move forward in life," the mayor of Verbania was quoted as saying.

She was born in the Piedmont region of Italy, the oldest of eight siblings, and officially became the world's oldest living woman when American Susannah Mushatt Jones died in May.

Ms Morano took up her unusual diet as a young woman after she was diagnosed with anaemia shortly after World War One.

More recently she had cut down to two eggs a day, along with a few biscuits.

Emma Morano died on Saturday at her home in northern Italy (AFP/Getty Images)

Last year, in an interview with AFP, her doctor Carlo Bava, said: "Emma has always eaten very few vegetables, very little 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 to kick out her abusive husband in 1938.

"I didn't want to be dominated by anyone," she once said.

Her long life was also likely down to genetics - her mother lived until she was 91 and several sisters reached 100.

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