When Susannah Mushatt Jones and Emma Morano were born in 1899, there was not yet world war or penicillin, and electricity was still considered a marvel. The women, now both 115 years old, are believed to be the last two in the world with birth dates in the 1800s.
Jones, who lives in Brooklyn, currently tops a list of supercentenarians, or people who have lived past 110, which is maintained by Gerontology Research Group in Los Angeles. The organization tracks and keeps a database of the world's longest-living people. Morano, of Verbania, Italy, is a few months younger than Jones and is Europe's oldest person, according to the group.
Born: Nov. 29, 1899, in Verbania, Italy
Morano has lived on her own ever since she left her husband in 1938 because he beat her. Now 115, she resides in a neat one-room apartment in Verbania, a mountain town overlooking Lake Major in northwest Italy. She is cared for by her village. Morano attributes her longevity to her unusual diet: Three raw eggs a day (now two raw eggs and 150 grams of raw steak after a bout of anemia) — a diet she's been on for decades after a sickly childhood. Her physician, Dr. Carlo Bava, is convinced there's a genetic component as well. He said Morano takes no medication and has been in stable, good health for years.
Susannah Mushatt Jones
Born: July 6, 1899, in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Jones spends her days in a one-bedroom apartment in a public housing facility for seniors where she has lived three decades. She sticks to a strict daily routine: She wakes about 9 a.m., bathes and then eats several slices of bacon, scrambled eggs and grits. Family members said she spends her days reflecting on her life and embracing the present. They credit her longevity to her love of family and generosity. She takes medication only for high blood pressure, but she lost her eyesight to glaucoma 15 years ago. Family members plan to throw a party when she turns 116 next week.