Corazon (Cory) Aquino (1933-2009 ) grew up on a sugarcane plantation north of Manila. A devout Catholic, she was educated in the United States and returned to the Philippines, where she married Benigno Ninoy Aquino, Jr., a young politician. They had five children. Ninoy became governor, then senator, but when President Marcos declared martial law, Corazon's husband was arrested, sentenced to death, and sent into exile.
When the family returned to their homeland in 1983, Ninoy was assassinated at the Manila airport. Cory joined the opposition party to work for political reform against Ferdinand Marcos' autocratic rule. In 1986 after prayerful consideration, Corazon Aquino ran against Marcos for the presidency. She was declared the loser, but the elections were contested for possible fraud. When Ferdinand Marcos fled the country, Corazon Aquino assumed the presidency, the first woman to hold that office in the Philippines. Cory spearheaded a new dictator-proof constitution, which was ratified by a landslide vote and governed with a gentle hand. Her presidency was plagued by numerous coup attempts.
In 1992 Corazon chose not to run for reelection. She has continued to work for democratic reform in the Philippines.