Emma Morano, at 117 the world’s oldest person and also believed to have been the last surviving person born in the 1800s, has died at her home in northern Italy.
Ms Morano’s doctor, Carlo Bava, said the woman’s caretaker had called him to say she had stopped breathing in the afternoon while sitting in an armchair at her home in Verbania, a town on Italy’s Lake Maggiore.
Dr Bava said he had last seen his patient on Friday when “she thanked me and held my hand”, as she did every time he called on her.
While Ms Morano had been increasingly spending more time sleeping and less time speaking in recent weeks, she had eaten her daily raw eggs and biscuits that day, he said.
Dr Bava also lives in Verbania and had been her doctor for nearly a quarter of a century.
Ms Morano, born on November 29, 1899, had been living in a tidy, one-room apartment, where she was kept company by her caregiver and two elderly nieces.
“She didn’t suffer. I’m happy she didn’t suffer but passed away that way, tranquilly,” Dr Bava said.
He said she had been her usual “chatterbox self” until a few weeks ago.
“She was slowly fading away,” Dr Bava said.