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

She was also believed to have been the last surviving person in the world who was born in the 1800s.

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

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

Emma Morano was born on November 29, 1899. 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. "We will always remember the strength (she possessed) for moving forward, her combative attitude against adversity", said Verbania Mayor Silvia Marchionini.

However, the most surprising note in her life is perhaps her diet: three raw eggs a day up to some 10 years ago. On November 29, 2016, Morano celebrated her 117th birthday.

Morano's life spanned three centuries, two World Wars, 90 Italian governments, an abusive marriage, the loss of her only son. "For lunch I'll eat pasta and minced meat then for dinner, I'll have just a glass of milk".

It was a regime she took up as a young woman, after the doctor diagnosed her with anaemia shortly after World War I.

"He told me: "If you're lucky you marry me, or I'll kill you".

Over the years she also worked as a cook in a boarding school until she retired at the age of 75, and remained single, although she never divorced her husband.

Ms Morano has said that her longevity was partly down to genetics: her mother reached 91 and several sisters reached their centenary.

Morano poses for a photo after receiving the distinction of being the world's oldest known living person.

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