Emma Morano, the world’s oldest person, turned 117 on Tuesday, and is now the only person alive who was born in the 19th century.


Morano lives in Italy and credits her long life to ending her abusive marriage long ago and to eating two raw eggs a day. As a teen, her doctor told her to eat raw eggs to combat her anemia, so every day for 90 years she ate two raw eggs, one cooked egg, minced meat and pasta. These days, she just eats the two raw eggs along with some ladyfinger cookies.

“[She] is in a great state of health and mind,” reports her doctorCarlo Bava. “The fact that she has never had much variety in her diet is proof that she is so well-preserved thanks to genetics.” Her mother lived to 91 and her sisters into their 100s.

Morano divorced her husband in 1938, ten years before divorce was even legal in Italy. She had previously lost her true love in WWI. She says that she never wanted to remarry but was forced to. “He said, ‘If you’re lucky, you marry me, or I’ll kill you.'” she recalled.

She divorced him a year after their six-month old child died. “I didn’t want to be dominated by anyone,” she said.

Morano has held the title of World’s Oldest Living Person since Susannah Mushatt Jones, an American, died in May at 116.

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