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

The world's oldest person, Emma Morano, has died at her home in northern Italy.

The last person known to have been born during the 1800s has died.

"She was slowly fading away", Dr Bava said.

Dr. Carlo Bava told The Associated Press by phone that Morano's caretaker had called him to say she had stopped breathing in the afternoon while sitting in an armchair at her home in Verbania, a town on Italy's Lake Maggiore.

Morano - born November 21, 1899 in Italy's Piedmont region - died Saturday at her home in Verbania, according to the AP.

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

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Morano told reporters that she had a fiancé who died during World War I, before she was forced into marrying someone else who threatened to kill her if she refused. "Her characteristic is that she always eats the same thing, every day, every week, every month and every year".

"I worked in a factory until I was 65, then that was that". She lost a boyfriend in the First World War, and then married a quite abusive man, whom she did not love, Xinhua news agency cited local media.

"How does my hair look", she asked before blowing out the candles on her 117th birthday cake past year.

Morano famously attributed her long life, in part, to staying single after ending a bad marriage in her late 30s. That husband reportedly beat her, but she was able to escape the relationship 12 years later.

"For breakfast I eat biscuits with milk or water", she said.

Of course, genetics can't be overlooked: though Morano, the oldest of eight children, outlived all of her siblings, several of her sisters lived to see their 100th birthdays (and her mother passed away at the age of 91).

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