Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco-Aquino (January 25, 1933 – August 1, 2009) was the 11th President of the Philippines and the first woman to hold that office. Aquino was also the first popularly and democratically-elected female president and head of state in Asia. She is best remembered for leading the 1986 People Power Revolution, which toppled Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy in the Philippines. "Tita (Auntie) Cory", as she was affectionately known, is revered by many Filipinos as an icon of democracy and was hailed by TIME Magazine in 1986 as its 'Woman of the Year.'
A self-proclaimed "plain housewife", Aquino was married to Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr., the popular opposition leader and staunchest critic of then President Ferdinand Marcos. Senator Aquino was assassinated on August 21, 1983 upon returning to the Philippines after three years in exile in the United States.
After her husband's assassination, the widowed Aquino became the reluctant leader of the opposition against the authoritarian rule of the Marcos regime. She united the fragmented opposition and strengthened its moral crusade against the abuses and excesses of President Marcos' martial rule. In late 1985, when President Marcos called for a snap election, Cory Aquino challenged his regime. Aquino thrust herself into the political arena after one million signatures urging her to run for president were presented to her.