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Emma Morano, an Italian woman believed to have been the oldest person alive and the last survivor of the 19th century, died Saturday at the age of 117, Italian media reported.
Morano, born on November 29 1899, died at her home in Verbania, in northern Italy, the reports said.
Morano's death, at the age of 117 years and 137 days, means there is no one living known to have been born before 1900.
Her first love died in World War I, but she married later and left her violent husband just before the Second World War and shortly after the death in infancy of her only son. That was 30 years before divorce became legal in Italy.
In an interview with AFP last year, she put her longevity down to her diet.
"I eat two eggs a day, and that's it. And cookies. But I do not eat much because I have no teeth," she said in her home at the time, where the Guinness World Records certificate declaring her to be the oldest person alive held pride of place on a marble-topped chest of drawers.
Robert Young, director of the Los Angeles-based GRG's Supercentenarian Research and Database Division, said he had been following Morano 's progress for the past seven years, calling her an example of "super-ageing individuals who seem to age at a slower rate than normal -- maybe even a few percentage points slower, but enough to make a difference".
The world longevity record, he noted, remained with French woman Jeanne Calment, who died at 122 in 1997, having outlived both her daughter and grandson. "That's superconfirmed," Young said.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/italian-emma ... 58715.html
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