News broke on Saturday afternoon that Emma Morano, known as the world's oldest person, passed away in her home in Italy, according to her doctor. She was 117 years old and was the last known living person to have been born in the 1800s.
In 2016, Morano made headlines for proclaiming that being single was the secret to her long life. Morano separated from her abusive husband in the year 1938; as divorce was illegal at this point in time, she remained legally married to him until he passed away in 1978. In a 2011 interview, Morano claimed to have never wanted to marry in the first place and having only given in because she was threatened. "He told me: 'If you're lucky you marry me, or I'll kill you,'" she said. "I was 26 years old. I got married." Despite having "plenty of suitors," Morano told the New York Times that she refused to remarry because she "didn't want to be dominated by anyone."
In addition to enjoying the single life, Morano didn't fuss with keeping a complicated diet to lengthen her time on earth. “I eat two eggs a day, and that’s it. And cookies. But I do not eat much because I have no teeth,” she said. She said she had previously eaten three eggs per day — two raw, one cooked — for over 90 years. It was a habit she picked up at the age of 20, when a doctor advised her that consuming these three daily eggs would help treat her anemia. In 2016, she reduced the number to just two raw eggs per day.
"Emma has always eaten very few vegetables, very little fruit," her doctor, Carlo Bava, said in an interview last year. "[She] does not want to eat meat because she doesn't like it anymore and someone told her it causes cancer."
"She is a very determined person," Dr. Bava said. "She has never wanted to go to hospital, she's never received any particular [health] care. She's suffered from a bit of bronchitis, had a [blood] transfusion, and some stitches, but always at home."
Morano wasn't the only person in her family to reach an impressively old age — her mother, aunt and several of her eight siblings made it to at least the age of 90, while her sister Angela Morano passed away when she was 102 years old.
Based on what she shared of her life, it seems that Morano led a relatively simple existence. She spent most of her years living alone, supporting herself with jobs as a cook and a factory worker.
It's clear from her interviews that Morano had charm and spunk, and she'll certainly be missed.