World’s oldest person, and the only living person born in the 19th century, Ms. Emma Morano, turned 117 on Tuesday.
To celebrate her age and status, Emma Martina Luigia Morano did not exactly have a private affair, as journalists, photographers, relatives and researchers crowded into her tiny two-room apartment in Pallanza, a picturesque Italian town on the Piedmont shore of Lake Maggiore. She hasn’t left her flat for years and receives 24-hour care.
In May, Emma Morano of Vercelli, Italy was confirmed as the oldest person living by Guinness World Records after reviewing a research conducted by the Gerontology Research Group.
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Raised in Vercelli – the oldest of eight siblings – Emma later moved to Verbania on the shores of Lake Maggiore, Italy where she remained for the majority of her life.
Emma followed the same extraordinary diet for around 90 years – three eggs per day (two raw, one cooked), fresh Italian pasta and a dish of raw meat, though she now limits herself to two eggs a day and a few biscuits.
Emma was engaged to a man who was called to the front during the First World War. Devastatingly, she never saw him again and assumed he had died.
She married someone else in 1926 though the marriage was abusive and later gave birth to a child who tragically passed away at only 6-months-old.
In 2011, Emma said that her husband had blackmailed her into getting married, threatening to kill her. Following the terrible loss of her son in 1938, she took the brave decision to leave her husband and never remarried.
Ms. Morano’s doctor of nearly two decades, Carlo Bava, said that despite her age, his patient was still in excellent health, and her memory sharp. “She’s in great form,” he said. “And I think she’s happy to have made it to this birthday.”
Marco Frigatti, Head of Records for GWR, while speaking of Emma’s achievement said the oldest living person record category continues to capture the world’s collective imagination.
The oldest person ever is Jeanne Louise Calment, who reached 122 years 164 days.