Ms Emma Martina Luigia Morano of Vercelli, Italy was born 117 years year ago today, on 29 November 1899.
Guinness World Records confirmed Emma as the Oldest person living in May, after reviewing research conducted by the Gerontology Research Group.
She is believed to be the last person living who was born in the 19th century.
Today Ms Morano is celebrating her birthday in her flat – a home she hasn’t left for years and receives 24-hour care.
Speaking of Emma's achievement, Marco Frigatti, Head of Records for GWR, said: “The oldest living person record category continues to capture the world’s collective imagination. Ms Morano has experienced things first hand that will soon be consigned to memory, and the record books. She can teach us all a lesson of the value of a life well lived.”
Oldest living person Emma Morano GWR certificate presentation
Raised in Vercelli – the oldest of eight siblings – Emma later moved to Verbania on the shores of Lake Maggiore, Italy where she remained for the majority of her life.
Emma followed the same extraordinary diet for around 90 years – three eggs per day (two raw, one cooked), fresh Italian pasta and a dish of raw meat.
However, she now limits herself to two eggs a day and a few biscuits.
Oldest living person Emma Morano GWR certificate
Emma was engaged to a man who was called to the front during the First World War. Devastatingly, she never saw him again and assumed he had died.
She married someone else in 1926 and later gave birth to a child who tragically passed away at only 6 months old.
This marriage was abusive. Emma told La Stampa in 2011 that her husband had blackmailed her into getting married, threatening to kill her.
Following the terrible loss of her son in 1938 she took the brave decision to leave her husband and never remarried.
Emma’s incredible story of courage and longevity has since been the inspiration of a musical show performed in her Italian hometown Verbania.
Ms Morano is five years younger than the Oldest person ever, Jeanne Louise Calment, who reached 122 years 164 days.
The Oldest person living (male) is Holocaust survivor Israel Kristal (pictured below), who celebrated his 113th birthday in September.
Guinness World Records announces new Oldest man Israel Kristal header
Check out a copy of Guinness World Records 2017 Edition to find out more about incredible supercentenarian record-breakers.
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