Ask the oldest living person in the world — a tiny, 116-year-old Italian woman — what the key to her longevity is and her response might surprise you. The Guinness World Records confirmed on Monday that Emma Morano of Verbania, Italy is now the oldest living person at 116 years.
The spry supercentenarian was born on November 29, 1899, making her the only person whose life has touched three centuries.
In a 2015 interview with the New York Times, Morano shared that she attributes her long life to eating three raw eggs a day — she has since gone down to two eggs a day — since she was in her teens (a doctor recommended it for anemia.)
She also largely credits her impressive life span with being single. Although Morano had many “suitors” following the end of an unhappy marriage in 1938, she never remarried. “I didn’t want to be dominated by anyone,” Morano said.
When Morano was told that she now held the title of oldest person alive, she told the Telegraph via her caretaker, Rosi Santoni, “My word, I’m as old as the hills.”
Emma Martina Luigia Morano (born 29 November 1899) is an Italian supercentenarian who is, at the age of 116 years, 187 days(as of June 3, 2016), the world’s oldest living person, and the last verified living person to have been born in the 1800s.
She is the oldest verified Italian person ever, the second oldest European ever behind Jeanne Calment, and one of the ten verified oldest people ever.
Emma Martina Luigia Morano was born on 29 November 1899 in Civiasco, Vercelli, Piedmont, Italy, to Giovanni Morano and Matilde Bresciani, the eldest of eight children, five daughters and three sons. She had a long-lived family: her mother, an aunt and some of her siblings turned 90, and one of her sisters, Angela Morano (1908–2011), died at age 102.
When she was a child, she moved from the Sesia Valley to Ossola for her father’s job, but the climate was so unhealthy there that a physician advised her family to live somewhere with a milder climate, so she moved to Pallanza, on Lake Maggiore, where she still lives. In October 1926, she married Giovanni Martinuzzi (1901–1978), and in 1937 her only child was born but died when he was only six months old. The marriage was not happy, so in 1938 Morano separated from her husband, driving him out of the house; despite the couple’s separation, they remained married until his death in 1978.
Until 1954, she worked at Maioni Industry, a jute factory in her town. She subsequently worked in the kitchen of Collegio Santa Maria, a Marianist boarding school in Pallanza, until her retirement at the age of 75.
Morano was still living alone in her home on her 115th birthday. When asked about the secret of her longevity, she said that she had never used drugs, eats three eggs a day, drinks a glass of homemade brandy, and enjoys a chocolate sometimes, but, above all, she thinks positively about the future. Morano credits her long life to her diet of raw eggs and being single.
In 2011, Morano was visited as part of a worldwide study conducted by George Church for Harvard Medical School of Boston, to study the secret of her longevity.
In December 2011, she was awarded the honor of Knight of Order of Merit of the Italian Republic by President Giorgio Napolitano.
Morano became the oldest living person in Italy and Europe after the death of Maria Redaelli on 2 April 2013. On her 114th birthday, she gave a short live TV interview to a RAI show. On her 116th birthday, Morano received congratulations from Pope Francis.
She surpassed the age of Venere Pizzinato in August 2014 and Dina Manfredini (died in the USA) in August 2015, to become the oldest Italian person ever. On 12 May 2016, upon the death of American woman Susannah Mushatt Jones, Morano became the world’s oldest living person and also the last verified living person born in the 1800s.