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Emma Morano, the world's oldest person, has died at the age of 117

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There have been a lot of socioeconomic changes in the past 117 years, to say the least. And Italy's Emma Morano -- dubbed the world's oldest person -- has witnessed it all. The evolution of aviation, two World Wars, and the turn of two centuries are just a few historic events that Morano has experienced. 

On Saturday, Morano of northern Italy died peacefully in her home, her physician, Dr. Carlo Bava told the Associated Press. She was believed to be the last surviving person born in the 1800s.

Morano became the oldest person in the world in May.

On her birthday last November, she blew out the candles on her cake, and added a touch of humor, saying, "I hope I don't have to cut it!"

Bava said, until recently, Morano was her usual chatterbox self. Since then it was clear, "she was slowly fading away," and spending nearly all day in bed.

Morano didn't have an easy life. Bava previously told the AP that she lost a son to crib death when he was just six months old. In 1938, Morano left her husband because he would beat her.

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


The 117-year-old also once enjoyed singing and dancing. She worked in a factory making jute bags when she was 16. She then worked at a hotel, where she worked beyond the usual retirement age.

So what's the secret? Bava said Morano defied health advice--eating three eggs daily. 

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