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Corazon Aquino Dies

Corazon Aquino, the unassuming widow whose "people power" revolution toppled a dictator, restored Philippine democracy and inspired millions of people around the world, has died at the age of 76.

She served as president of the Philippines from 1986 to 1992, the first woman to hold that position. She was widowed in 1983 when her husband, political opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino Jr., was assassinated upon his return from exile to lead a pro-democracy movement against authoritarian president Ferdinand E. Marcos.

In her six tumultuous years in office in the fractious, strife-torn, disaster-prone archipelago, Aquino resisted seven coup attempts or military revolts, battled a persistent communist insurgency and grappled with the effects of typhoons, floods, droughts, a major earthquake and a devastating volcanic eruption. Her tribulations earned her the nickname "Calamity Cory."

As she dealt with those challenges, she took pride in restoring democratic institutions that had been gutted under Marcos's 20-year-rule. (For more of Washington Post foreign correspondent William Branigin's obituary, click here.)

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By Matt Schudel  |  July 31, 2009; 5:57 PM ET
 
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