Corazon Aquino was born Mari Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco on January 25, 1933, in Paniqui Philippines. She moved to the United States with her family when she was in high school. Aquino finished high school and went to college in the US as well. She returned to the Philippines in 1953 and went to law school. She married Benigno "Ninoy" S Aquino on October 11, 1954. They had five children. Her husband became one of the leading critics of the government, and when the President declared martial law her husband was arrested. They were forced into exile.
Following Benigno's assassination (on international television as he arrived back in the Philippines in 1983), she became active in the movement opposing incumbent President Ferdinand Marcos. She led the opposition in the elections of 1986. When Marcos claimed victory, rioting broke out, which resulted in his fleeing the country and Aquino becoming President. Aquino was the key force in the writing of a new Philippine constitution. She retired in 1992.