World's oldest person Emma Morano dies, aged 117

Damien Pearse, News Reporter

The world's oldest person, Emma Morano, has died at her home in northern Italy, aged 117, her doctor said.

Ms Morano - believed to have been the last surviving person born in the 1800s - passed away "tranquilly" at her home.

Dr Carlo Bava said Ms Morano died on Saturday while sitting in an armchair at her home in Verbania, a town on Italy's Lake Maggiore.

Dr Bava said he had last seen his patient on Friday when "she thanked me and held my hand", as she did every time he called on her.

She had eaten her daily raw egg and biscuits that day, he said, though she had been quieter than usual.

Ms Morano was born on 29 November, 1899, and had been living in a one-room apartment.

She was kept company by her carer and two elderly nieces.

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

He said she had been her usual chatterbox self until a few weeks ago. "She was slowly fading away," he said.

Dr Bava has previously said that Ms Morano lost a son to cot death when he was six months old.

She left her husband in the first half of the last century after he beat her, the doctor said.

She went on to support herself by working in a factory making jute bags, then at a hotel, working way beyond the usual retirement age.

She also defied health advice, eating three eggs daily, for many years.

A woman in Jamaica, Violet Brown, who was born on the Caribbean island on 10 March, 1900, is now considered the world's oldest person.