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

Emma Morano blows candles in the day of her birthday in Verbania, .

Italian Emma Morano, last known survivor of 19th century, died at 117.

Dr. Carlo Bava, Morano's doctor, told The Associated Press that despite hardships, she has maintained a serene attitude, that, along with genetics, may help explain her longevity.

Dr Bava said he had last seen his patient on Friday when "she thanked me and held my hand", as she did every time he called on her.

Born on November 29, 1899, she was named as the world's oldest known person in May 2016.

She reportedly worked until she was 75 years old, though Morano was said to have not left her apartment at any point in the last 20 years of her life.

"She reached an incredible finish line", said Silvia Marchionini, mayor of the town of Verbania in northern Italy where Morano lived on the shores of Lake Maggiore.

He said she had been her usual chatterbox self until a few weeks ago. "I think I was one of the first in Italy to do that".

It was not a happy marriage - they had a son in 1937, but the baby died after just six months and the following year Ms Morano kicked out her abusive husband.

A relative told The Daily Telegraph that Morano said, "My word, I'm as old as the hills". "She forgets nothing", Yamile Vergara, her nurse for over 40 years, said at the time. She outlived all of her family members, namely eight brothers and sisters. "I was 26. We got married".

Always a biscuits-lover, she has been used to eating very little vegetables, according to her personal doctor.

According to the Gerontology Research Group, a United States body that tracks supercentenarians, the oldest person after Morano is Jamaican woman Violet Brown, who turned 117 on March 10.

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