August 2, 2009

Corazon Aquino dies at 76

Former Philippines President Corazon Aquino, who swept away a dictator and then sustained democracy by fighting off seven coup attempts in six years, died on Saturday (July 31) after a 16-month battle against colon cancer. She was 76-years-old.

She was known as Cory to millions of Filipinos and was president from 1986 to 1992. A devout Catholic, she will be best remembered as the slim woman in yellow who deposed Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. Marcos and his wife Imelda fled the country.

Her "People's Power" revolution set a precedent for dissidents from South Africa to South America and Pakistan. Aquino was hailed by many as a modern-day Joan of Arc.

A reluctant leader, Aquino shed the housewife's apron only after her politician husband, opposition leader Benigno, was assassinated at Manila's international airport in 1983 on his return from exile in the United States.

Born on January 25, 1933, into one of the country's richest families, the Cojuangcos, Aquino grew up in a world of wealth and politics. The daughter of a congressman, she married Benigno, a politician with promise, and they had four daughters and a son before he was thrown into prison by Marcos and then forced into exile.

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