A woman believed to the the oldest human being on Earth and the last surviving person born in the 19th century has passed away at 117 years old.
Emma Morano, who made her home in the northern Italian town of Verbania, was the oldest of eight children and one of the oldest people in recorded history; interviews conducted earlier in her life pinpointed Morano's birthdate as November 29, 1899. She was discovered not breathing in her home by her caretaker on Saturday, and was eventually confirmed dead by the physician who looked after her over the last 25 years.
"She didn't suffer," says Dr. Carlo Bava. I'm happy she didn't suffer but passed away that way, tranquilly."
Morano's genetics likely played a big factor in the longevity of her life. Her mother lived to be 91, and she had several siblings who reportedly lived to be at least 100 years old.
Against the wishes of several doctors, Morano also kept an unusual diet. For more than 90 years of her life, following a diagnosis of anemia shortly after World War I, Morano ate multiple raw eggs per day. Her doctor says she rarely ate vegetables or fruit and instead subsisted primarily on chicken, omelettes, and biscuits.
In her 117 years of life, Morano lived through two World Wars, an abusive marriage, the death of her son, and upwards of 90 different governments in her home country. She reportedly worked until she was 75 years old, though Morano was said to have not left her apartment at any point in the last 20 years of her life.
The world's oldest living person is now believed to be Violet Brown, a Jamaican woman born on March 10, 1900.