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Corazon C. Aquino
Birth: Jan. 25, 1933
Manila
Metro Manila
National Capital Region, Philippines
Death: Aug. 1, 2009
Manila
Metro Manila
National Capital Region, Philippines

President of the Republic of the Philippines (1986 to 1992). She was the first woman President of the Philippines and the first woman to hold the office of President of any country in Asia. Born Maria Corazon Cojuangco, the sixth of eight children of a wealthy family living in Tarlac, Philippines, her father was Jose Cojuangco and her mother was Demetria Sumulong. She attended grade school at St. Scholastica's College Manila, and was class valedictorian in 1943. In 1946, she studied high school for a year in Assumption Convent Manila, and was later educated at Ravenhill Academy in Philadelphia, and the College of Mount Saint Vincent in New York. During the 1948 US Presidential Campaign she worked as a volunteer for Republican candidate Thomas Dewey. In 1953, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in French, with a minor in Mathematics, with the intention of becoming a math teacher or a language interpreter. Returning to the Philippines, she studied law at the Far Eastern University, but gave it up a year later to marry Benigno Servillano "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. the son of the Speaker of the Philippine National Assembly. They would have five children: Benigno III, Maria Elana, Aurora Corazon, Victoria Eliza, and Kristina Bernadette. Shortly after their marriage, Benigno was elected Mayor of the town of Concepcion, near the US Air Force's Clark Air Force Base. As a member of the Liberal Party, Benigno Aquino became governor of Tarlac Province and in 1967, was elected to the Philippine Senate. As a senator's wife, Cory would remain a housewife, but would assist her husband with social affairs and dinner parties at their Quezon City home. She refused to join her husband on stage during campaign rallies, preferring to sit in the audience. Her husband was considered a potential candidate for President in the upcoming 1973 elections, but President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law in 1972, and dictated that he would remain as President. Her husband was among the first arrested under martial law, and was later sentenced to death. Although in prison, Benigno was reelected in 1978, and Cory Aquino made her first political speeches for her silenced husband. In 1980, US President Jimmy Carter intervened with President Marcos to allow the Aquinos to accept exile in the United States. Corazon would later call those next three years in Boston, Massachusetts as the happiest of her life. Over the next few years, Benigno remained actively involved in Philippine politics, and it was believed by many that he would be the best man to unite the Philippine opposition to Marcos. In 1983, Benigno decided to return to the Philippines, despite warnings from the Marcos government to remain in exile. Upon landing at the Manila airport on August 21, 1983, Benigno was assassinated within minutes of his getting off the airplane. Over two million people were estimated to have attended his funeral in the Philippines. Cory Aquino then participated in many of the mass protests that were staged in the years following her husband's assassination. When Marcos decided to call a presidential election for February 1986, Cory Aquino was drafted as the opposition candidate of the people's choice, with over one million signatures on the petition. The election held February 7, 1986, declared Marcos the winner, despite rampant voter intimidation and ballot fraud. On February 22, a Peoples' Power Revolution began when Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Armed Forces Vice Chief of Staff Fidel Ramos called on Marcos to resign. Three days later, Cory Aquino took the oath of office, declaring herself President of the Philippines, even as Ferdinand Marcos took his own oath of office the same day at the Malacanang Palace. That night, February 25, 1986, Marcos fled into exile to the US with his family, leaving the Philippines to the Peoples' Power Revolution. Over the next six years, Cory Aquino became an icon of democracy, changing the Philippine government from the autocracy of Marcos to more democratically operated government. She oversaw the enactment of a new Philippine Constitution (1987) and passed agrarian reform, breaking up large cartels of landowners to redistribute agricultural lands to tenant farmers (including her own inherited family estate). She survived seven attempts by the military, lead by many Marcos appointed officers, to overthrow her. In 1991, she signed the Local Government Code, which put much national governmental power back into local government hands. In a free election in 1992, Aquino was prohibited by the new constitution from running again, but saw her supportive Defense Minister, Fidel Ramos, win election. She then retired back into private life, and spent the remainder of her life overseeing social welfare projects, joining the Council of Women World Leaders to provide women leaders globally for collective action on international issues, and remaining active in some Philippine political issues. She would continue to lecture the Philippine government on democracy, and would support her son, Benigno III, in his run for Senator. In March 2008, she was diagnosed with colon cancer, and despite initially successful treatment, the cancer returned in July 2009. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Benigno Aquino (1932 - 1983)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Manila Memorial Park
Manila
Metro Manila
National Capital Region, Philippines
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Kit and Morgan Benson
Record added: Jul 31, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 40109083
Corazon C. Aquino
Added by: Kit and Morgan Benson
 
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- R I P
 Added: Nov. 27, 2014

- R I P
 Added: Aug. 21, 2014

- elaine bailey
 Added: Aug. 21, 2014
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