Rome, May 13 (IANS/AKI) The oldest person alive is now believed to be a 116-year-old woman from northern Italy, Emma Morano, following the death of a black American woman in the US, media reports said on Friday.
Emma Moreno, from the northwest Piedmont region, became the world’s oldest person after the death of Susannah Mushatt Jones at a nursing home in New York City on Thursday aged 116.
Mushatt Jones, the granddaughter of slaves and daughter of sharecroppers, was born in the southern US state of Alabama in 1899 and was a few months older than Morano, who was born the same year.
Morano, who was born on November 29, 1899, still lives in her apartment in the lakeside town of Verbania, northwest of Milan, cooks and does housework although she has had a carer for the past 18 months.
She attributes her longevity to never having drunk or smoked and to going to bed at 7 p.m. and rising at 6 a.m.
She received a telegram from Italy’s President Sergio Matarella and from Pope Francis on her 116th birthday.
Born in the mountain village of Civiasco in the northwest Piedmont region, Morano has always eaten three eggs a day – two raw and one cooked – advice given her by a doctor when she was a teenager.
The oldest of eight children, she married young and moved to the neighbouring Lombardy region where she worked as a seamstress until she retired aged 75.
Her only child died in infancy at seven months and she separated from her violent husband in 1938.
Longevity is in Morano’s family – one of her sisters died aged 107 and her mother at the age of 91.
A 117-year-old Japanese woman, Misao Okawa, was said to be the world’s oldest person until her death last year in Tokyo.