The world’s oldest person, Emma Morano, has died at her home in northern Italy.
At the age of 117 her life spanned three centuries, having been born in the 1800s. Morano was also one of the five oldest people in recorded history.
Her doctor, Carlo Bava, said he had called her caretaker, only to be told that she had passed away on Saturday afternoon while sitting in an armchair at her home in Verbania on the shores of Lake Maggiore.
He said he had last visited Morano on Friday, and she had talked to him and held his hand as she normally did. He said: “She thanked me and held my hand.”
She was one of eight children born to a couple in Civiasco in the Piedmont region of northern Italy.
She lived through two world wars and more than 90 Italian governments.
She attributed her longevity to leaving her husband in 1938 shortly after the death of her only child at the age of seven months, and to the inclusion in her daily diet of two raw eggs and little raw minced meat.
Bava, her doctor for 27 years, said Morano rarely ate vegetables or fruit. “When I first met her she ate three eggs a day, two raw in the morning and then an omelette at noon, and chicken at dinner.”
According to the US-based Geronotology Research Group the world's oldest human being is now Jamaican Violet Brown, who was born on March 10, 1900.