World's oldest person, Italy's Emma Morano, dies at 117

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The oldest person in the world - and last living person born in the 1800s - has reportedly died in Italy. Susannah Mushatt Jones, a NY woman several months her senior, died on May 12 evening, making Morano the world's oldest known person at 116.

He said he had last visited Morano on Friday, and she had talked to him and held his hand as she normally did.

Emma Morano was born on November 29, 1899.

A parchment with the papal blessing hangs on a wall in Emma Morano's home in Verbania, Italy. Dr. Carlo Bava told The Associated Press by telephone that Morano's caretaker called him to say the woman had passed away Saturday, April 15, 2017 afternoon while sitting in an armchair in her home in Verbania, a town on Lake Maggiore.

Only a year ago the Pope sent her a signed parchment as a personal blessing, and Italy's President Sergio Mattarella personally congratulated her on reaching a very rare and remarkable milestone. "I'm happy she didn't suffer but passed away that way, tranquilly", he said.

Dr Bava has previously said that Ms Morano lost a son to crib death when he was six months old and left her husband in the first half of the last century after he beat her.

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In 2011, she was honoured with the Order of Merit award by the Italian state and on her latest birthday she received the congratulations of both the current head of state Sergio Mattarella and Pope Francis.

FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016 file photo, Emma Morano, 117 years old, blows candles on the day of her birthday in Verbania, Italy.

She spent most of her life without a partner after leaving her violent husband in 1938. While her mind was alert, she was very deaf, speaking with difficulty and did not see well enough to watch television, spending her time instead either sleeping or snacking. Since then, she supported herself, lived alone, and worked in a factory until the age of 65. She was considered a good dancer with a handsome singing voice in her youth.

Morano fell short of the official title of world's oldest verified person on record, which is still held by Frenchwoman Jeanne Louise Calment who died in 1997, aged 122 years.

She also defied health advice, Dr Bava said Saturday.

But it was also down to a rather unusual diet of three eggs - two raw - each day for more than 90 years.