World’s Oldest Living Person Turns 117

Update: Emma Morano died on April 15, 2017, age 117

Italian super-centenarian Emma Morano turns 117 today on November 29, 2016. She was born born on November 29, 1899 in Civiasco, Italy and became the the last living person born in the 1800’s & the oldest living person earlier this year (in May 2016) when another centenarian passed away.

When Emma Morano was born in 1899:

  • USA – William McKinley was the President of the United States of America
  • Canada – Wilfrid Laurier was the Prime Minister of Canada
  • United Kingdom – Robert Gascoyne-Cecil was Prime Minister, with Queen Victoria as monarch
  • Italy – Francesco Crispi was the Prime Minister and Victor Emmanuel II had been the King of Italy (since 1861).

Morano survived World War I (1914-1918), fascist Italy under the power of Benito Mussolini (1922-1943), World War II (1939-1945); and witnessed the end of the monarchy in Italy and the birth of the republic in 1946.

Today Emma Morano lives alone – but not lonely, as she enjoys company from friends and family – in a two-bedroom apartment in Verbania, Italy, with mementos acquired over 117 years of living. Her primary caregiver is her niece, who visits daily.

An unhappy marriage to Giovanni Martinuzzi in October 1926 resulted in a son born in 1937 (died at 6 months of age). The couple separated in 1938 (reportedly he was abusive and she kicked him out) but they never divorced; she was widowed when Martinuzzi died in 1978. She remained happily single, telling the TimesI didn’t want to be dominated by anyone.”

Emma Morano’s longevity comes in part from genetics, with some of her sisters also living into their 100’s. Her lifestyle longevity tip is to eat 2-3 raw eggs every day, something a doctor recommended when she had been diagnosed with anemia as a teenager.

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