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

Emma Morano thought to be the world's oldest person and the last to be born in the 1800s sits on her bed during her 117th birthday in Verbania northern Italy

Emma Morano thought to be the world's oldest person and the last to be born in the 1800s sits on her bed during her 117th birthday in Verbania northern Italy

FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016 file photo, Emma Morano, 117 years old, blows candles on the day of her birthday in Verbania, Italy.

The Associated Press has confirmed that Emma Morano, the world's oldest person, died Saturday at her home in Italy at the age of 117.

Bava said he last paid his nearly-daily call on Morano on Friday. He said: "She thanked me and held my hand".

Morano, born November 29, 1899, was believed to have been the last surviving person in the world who was born in the 1800s.

Her doctor of 27 years, Carlo Bava, had told AFP news agency that she rarely ate vegetables or fruit.

Morano lost her only child, not long before leaving her brutal husband. Since then it was clear, "she was slowly fading away", and spending almost all day in bed, Bava said.

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He said she had been her usual chatterbox self until a few weeks ago.

According to her grandchildren, Morano, who lived through two world wars, knew 11 popes and 12 Italian Presidents, died peacefully in her sleep. She outlived all of her family members, namely eight brothers and sisters. "I think I was one of the first in Italy to do that", she said.

"'Either you agree to marry me or I will kill you'", Ms Morano said, recalling his proposal. Though they separated in 1938, they remained married until he died in 1978. "She was always very decisive".

Ms Morano went on to support herself by working in a factory making jute bags, then at a hotel, working far beyond the usual retirement age.

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

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