Guinness World Records is saddened to learn of the passing of Emma Martina Luigia Morano of Vercelli, Italy, holder of the record titles for Oldest living person and Oldest living woman.
Born on 29 November 1899, Emma was the last known person living who was born in the 19th century.
Emma was confirmed as holding both Guinness World Records titles in May last year following research conducted by the Gerontology Research Group.
Raised in Vercelli – the oldest of eight siblings – Emma later moved to Verbania on the shores of Lake Maggiore, Italy where she remained for the majority of her life.
Emma followed the same extraordinary diet for around 90 years – three eggs per day (two raw, one cooked), fresh Italian pasta and a dish of raw meat, only changing her routine within the final years of her life.
Emma was engaged to a man who was called to the front during the First World War. Devastatingly, she never saw him again and assumed he had died.
She married someone else in 1926 and later gave birth to a child who tragically passed away at only six months old.
This marriage was abusive. Emma told La Stampa in 2011 that her husband had blackmailed her into getting married, threatening to kill her.
Following the terrible loss of her son in 1938 she took the brave decision to leave her husband and never remarried.
Emma’s incredible story of courage and longevity went on to inspire a musical show performed in her Italian hometown Verbania.
Ms Morano was five years younger than the Oldest person ever, Jeanne Louise Calment, who reached 122 years 164 days.
Commenting on Emma's passing, a Guinness World Records spokesperson said: "It is with deep regret and great sympathy that Guinness World Records, the global authority on record-breaking, has learnt of Emma Morano's passing. She joined our celebrated hall of fame with her amazing achievement when she was announced in 2016 as the Oldest living female, and was officially confirmed as the last person to be born in the 1800s. Guinness World Records is consulting with our expert Gerontologists and will verify the new title holder, subject to evidence review, in due course."
The Oldest person living (male) remains Holocaust survivor Israel Kristal, who celebrated his 113th birthday in September.