World's oldest person Emma Morano dies aged 117 in Italy

Emma Morano died in her home in Italy on Saturday at the age of 117, The Associated Press reports, citing her doctor.

Dr Carlo Bava, who announced the death, said that Ms Morano's carer had called him to say she had died today while sitting in an armchair at her home in Verbania, a town on Italy's Lake Maggiore. He says "she thanked me and held my hand" as usual.

Mrs Morano was born in November 1899, when Britain was at war with the Boers in South Africa. She was discovered not breathing in her home by her caretaker on Saturday, and was eventually confirmed dead by the physician who looked after her over the last 25 years. "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". "I was 26. We got married".

"She had an extraordinary life, and we will always remember her strength to help us move forward in life", the mayor of Verbania was quoted as saying.

Her life not only spanned three centuries but also survived an abusive marriage, the loss of her only son, two World Wars and more than 90 Italian governments.

She also adhered to a unique diet of two raw eggs and one cooked egg per day and had good genes: The eldest of eight children, Morano had a sister live to 102 and another to almost 100. "For lunch I'll eat pasta and minced meat then for dinner, I'll have just a glass of milk".

In an interview with AFP news agency previous year, Morano put her longevity down to her diet.

"'Either you agree to marry me or I will kill you'", Ms Morano said, recalling his proposal.

Morano credited her longevity to a diet of eggs and meat, along with being single. But past year Rosi Santoni, one of the relatives who helped look after her, said she had plenty of family to care for her and had many friends in the town.