Emma Martina Luigia Morano was the eldest of the eight (five daughters and three sons) children born to Giovanni Morano and Matilde Bresciani on 29 November 1899 in Civiasco in the Province of Vercelli in Italy. When she was a child, she moved from the Sesia Valley to Ossola for her father’s job, but the climate was unhealthy there, so a physician advised her family to live somewhere with a milder climate, so the family moved to Pallanza, on Lake Maggiore, where Morano lived until her death. Her mother, aunt, and some of her siblings reached the age of 90, and her sister Angela Morano (1908–2011) died at the age of 102. Angela and Emma were the oldest known living siblings in Italy until Angela died.
Morano married Giovanni Martinuzzi (1901–1978) in 1926, when she was 27 and he was 25. They had a son in 1937, but unfortunately, he died six months after birth. The marriage wasn’t happy (as Giovanni reportedly engaged in spousal abuse), and in 1938 she drove her husband out of the house and they separated, but were formally married until his death. She said she never took drugs, ate three eggs a day, and drank a glass of homemade brandy. Morano worked in a jute factory until 1954 and then worked as a cook in a kitchen at a boarding school until retiring in 1974 at the age of 74.
Morano died in Verbania, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Italy on 15 April 2017 at the age of 117 years, 137 days. Following her death, Violet Brown succeeded her as the world’s oldest validated living person.