And then there was ONE… Emma Morano.
Emma Martina Luigia Morano (born 29 November 1899) is an Italian “Supercentenarian” who, at the age of 116 years is the world’s oldest living person and the last verified living person to have been born in the 1800’s. This makes Emma the only living person today that has stepped into three different centuries, the 1800’s, 1900’s and 2000’s.
We thought it is appropriate to put Emma’s life into perspective:
- William McKinley was president of the United States when Emma was born.
- At age 1 month, American Bell Telephone Company is purchased on 30 December 1899 by its own long-distance subsidiary, American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T). Telephones are basically a wooden box with a speaker and a receiver and require another human “operator” to connect a call manually over a landline.
- She was 4 years old when the Wright brothers made the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft on December 17, 1903.
- At age 14 she witnessed the start of WWI on the 28th of July 1914 and at age 18 she witnessed the end of WWI on the 11th of November 1918.
- She worked through the great depression of the 1930’s as a young women in her 30’s.
- At at age 39 she saw the start of another World War (WWII) in 1939 and it end at age 45 in 1945.
- On July 20 1969, at age 69 she looked up to see Neil Armstrong become the first human to step on the moon.
- At age 116, she can now hold the sum total of man’s recorded knowledge in the palm of her hand via a smart phone. She is witnessing the New Horizons spacecraft exploring the farthest planet from our sun while the Voyager 1 Spacecraft has left our Solar System.
Emma has seen the birth and evolution of modern aviation and new technology like few have ever seen. She was born on 29 November 1899 in Civiasco, Vercelli, Piedmont, Italy, to Giovanni Morano and Matilde Bresciani, the eldest of eight children, five daughters and three sons. She had a long-lived family: her mother, an aunt and some of her siblings turned 90, and one of her sisters, Angela Morano (1908–2011), died at age 102.
When she was a child, she moved from the Sesia Valley to Ossola for her father’s job, but the climate was so unhealthy there that a physician advised her family to live somewhere with a milder climate, so she moved to Pallanza, on Lake Maggiore, where she still lives. In October 1926, she married Giovanni Martinuzzi (1901–1978), and in 1937 her only child was born but died when he was only six months old. The marriage was not happy, so in 1938 Morano separated from her husband, driving him out of the house; despite the couple’s separation, they remained married until his death in 1978.
Until 1954, she worked at Maioni Industry, a jute factory in her town. She subsequently worked in the kitchen of Collegio Santa Maria, a Marianist boarding school in Pallanza, until her retirement at the age of 75.
Morano was still living alone in her home on her 115th birthday. When asked about the secret of her longevity, she said that she had never used drugs, eats three eggs a day, drinks a glass of homemade brandy, and enjoys a chocolate sometimes, but, above all, she thinks positively about the future. Morano credits her long life to her diet of raw eggs and being single.
In 2011, Morano was visited as part of a worldwide study conducted by George Church for Harvard Medical School of Boston, to study the secret of her longevity. In December 2011, she was awarded the “honor of Knight of Order of Merit of the Italian Republic“ by President Giorgio Napolitano.
Morano became the oldest living person in Italy and Europe after the death of Maria Redaelli on 2 April 2013. On her 114th birthday, she gave a short live TV interview to a RAI show. On her 116th birthday, Morano received congratulations from Pope Francis.
She surpassed the age of Venere Pizzinato in August 2014 and Dina Manfredini (who died in the USA) in August 2015, to become the oldest Italian person ever. On 13 May 2016, upon the death of American woman Susannah Mushatt Jones, Morano became the world’s oldest living person and also the last verified living person born in the 1800s.
In the 19th century (1800’s), the world population consisted of approximately 1,000,000,000 to 1,656,000,000 (1.66 billion) people…
And then there was ONE… “Emma Morano“.
Up-date: Emma Martina Luigia Morano passed away on 15 April 2017.
An Italian supercentenarian who, prior to her death at the age of 117 years and 137 days, was the world’s oldest living person whose age had been verified, and the last living person to have been verified as being born in the 1800s. She was the oldest Italian person ever, the second oldest European person ever behind Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, and one of the five verified oldest people ever.