Meet the woman who may be the last living person born in the 1800s

By Colby Itkowitz

Emma Morano poses next to a picture depicting her when she was young, in Verbania, Italy. Photo / AP
Emma Morano poses next to a picture depicting her when she was young, in Verbania, Italy. Photo / AP

The oldest living person in the world, and the only one left who has touched three centuries, is a raw-egg-eating, brandy-drinking Italian woman who credits her long life to her daily eggs, her early bedtime and being single.

Emma Morano received the news at the weekend that Susannah Mushatt Jones, a New York woman several months her senior, had died on Friday, making Morano the world's oldest known person at 116.

Upon hearing of her new title, she said: "My word, I'm as old as the hills," a caregiver, Rosi Santoni, told the Telegraph.

The Italian supercentenarian was born in the Piedmont region of northern Italy on November 29, 1899. She lives now in a small lakeside town near the Switzerland border, still in her own one-bedroom home. Doctors make house calls, but for a 116-year-old, her health is good.

As a teenager, a doctor told her to eat raw eggs for her anemia, and so she has every day since, according to a New York Times profile in 2015.

She also eats minced meat and pasta daily.

Leaving an unhappy marriage also helped her live so long, she told the Times. She separated from her husband in 1938 and never remarried. "I didn't want to be dominated by anyone," she said, though she did have many "suitors." She worked at a factory and then as a cook, and didn't retire until she was 75 - 41 years ago.

Reporters went to her home in Verbania on Saturday to talk to her about being the last living person with a birth date in the 19th century. But, according to the Associated Press, they had to wait because Morano was napping.

Her physician, Carlo Bava, said Morano's longevity is "a phenomenon."

- Washington Post

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