Emma Morano, world's oldest person, dies in Italy at age 117

Emma Martina Luigia Morano was raised in Vercelli and was the oldest of eight siblings.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness expressed congratulations to Brown.

Morano, who celebrated her 117th birthday in November last year, officially became the world's oldest person following the death of 116-year-old Susannah Mushatt Jones in NY in May 2016.

She had clung to her independence, only taking on a full-time carer a couple of years ago, though she had not left her small two-room apartment for 20 years.

FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016 file photo, Emma Morano sits in her home on the day of her 117th birthday in Verbania, Italy.

"My life wasn't so nice", Ms Morano said last November on her 117th birthday. Since then it was clear, "she was slowly fading away", and spending almost all day in bed, Bava said.

"She didn't suffer. I'm happy she didn't suffer but passed away that way, tranquilly", Bava said.

Robert Young, director of the Los Angeles-based GRG's Supercentenarian Research and Database Division, said he had been following Morano 's progress for the past seven years, calling her an example of "super-ageing individuals who seem to age at a slower rate than normal - maybe even a few percentage points slower, but enough to make a difference".

Ms Morano "abandoned the husband in the Fascist era, when women were supposed to be very submissive", Dr Bava said in a 2015 interview. "She was always very decisive".

She went on to support herself by working in a factory making jute bags, then at a hotel, working way beyond the usual retirement age. She was considered a good dancer with a lovely singing voice in her youth.

Morano had a Guinness World Records certificate declaring her to be the oldest person alive. She lost a boyfriend in the First World War, and then married a quite abusive man, whom she did not love, Xinhua news agency cited local media.

She also defied health advice, Bava said Saturday. With three eggs everyday, fresh Italian pasta and a plate of raw meat, she followed her spectacular diet for around 90 years.

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