Emma Morano, last surviving person of the 1800s, dead at 117

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Emma Morano, the world’s oldest living person and the last surviving person to have been born in the 1800s, has died at her home in Italy, officials say. She was 117 years 137 days old.

Morano was born on November 29, 1899, a time when King Umberto I ruled Italy, women did not have the right to vote, and William McKinley served as the 25th president of the United States. It was also nearly 15 years before the outbreak of World War I.

The eldest of 8 siblings, Morano was raised in Vercelli but later moved to Verbania on the shores of Lake Maggiore, where she remained for the majority of her life. She was confirmed as the world’s oldest living person in May 2016 after research conducted by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG).

According to Guinness World Records, Morano followed the same diet for about 90 years: three eggs per day (two raw, one cooked), fresh Italian pasta and a dish of raw meat, only changing her routine within the final years of her life.

Morano was engaged to a man who was called to the front during World War I and never saw him again, assuming he had been killed. She went on to marry someone else in 1926 and later gave birth to a baby boy, but he died after just 6 months.

Morano previously told an Italian newspaper that her marriage was abusive, saying her husband had blackmailed her into getting married and had threatened to kill her. After the loss of her son, she decided to leave her husband and never remarried.

The new record-holder as the world’s oldest living person is believed to be 117-year-old Violet Brown from Jamaica. Guinness World Records is expected to formally confirm Brown as the world’s oldest living person in the coming weeks.

The oldest undisputed person to have ever lived in the world was Jeanne Calment who died in France in 1997 at the age of 122 years and 164 days. Other people have claimed to be older than Calment, but those claims have never been verified with official documentation and other supporting evidence.

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