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

Emma Morano, an Italian woman believed to have been the oldest person alive and the last survivor of the 19th century, died on Saturday (April 15) at the age of 117, Italian media reported.

According to her grandchildren, Morano, who lived through two world wars, knew 11 popes and 12 Italian Presidents, died peacefully in her sleep.

Bava, who said Morano's caretaker gave him the news, chalked up her longevity to genetics.

Emma Morano passed away sitting in an armchair at her home in the Italy town of Verbania.

Bava said he last paid his nearly-daily call on Morano on Friday. He says "she thanked me and held my hand" as usual.

Emma Morano was born on November 29, 1899. "For lunch I'll eat pasta and minced meat then for dinner, I'll have just a glass of milk".

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"He told me, "Either you agree to marry me or I will kill you, '" Morano said". 'She was always very decisive'. But a year ago Rosi Santoni, one of the relatives who helped look after her, said she had plenty of family to care for her and had many friends in the town.

She lived through two World Wars, worked in a jute factory and courageously chose to separate from an abusive husband at a time when divorce was frowned on.

Some doctors had warned her against eating three eggs daily, which she did for years, but she ignored their advice. "I was 26. We got married".

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 lost a son to cot death when he was six months old and left her husband in the first half of the last century after he beat her.

She credited her long life to good genes and steady diet of 3 eggs a day - 2 of them raw.

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