The World’s Oldest Woman, Italy’s Emma Morano celebrated her 117th birthday today.
She became the Guinness Book of Records-certified “oldest woman in the world” in May of this year, after 116-year-old Susannah Mushatt Jones passed away. Emma Morano was born in the 1800s and has thus lived through three centuries, survived multiple wars, an abusive marriage, and the loss of her only child, a son.
According to the BBC, Morano credits her long life to three things, her genetics, her diet and getting separated from her abusive husband in 1938. Her mother lived to 91 and many of her sisters lived to see 100 before their death. Her daily diet included eating three eggs, of which two were raw, on the recommendation of a doctor after a case of anemia every day since she was a teenager; now, she’s reduced it to only two eggs and few biscuits.
After her infant son died in 1938, She got separated from her husband but never divorced him, and chose to never remarry again, summing it up succinctly in a statement “I didn’t want to be dominated by anyone.”
Emma Morano received a personalized birthday message from the Italian president as well as a homage to her extraordinary life, which will be in form of a musical performance telling her life story, which according to the play’s writers, “represents the feminine courage which rebelled against domestic violence.”