Benigno Simeon “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. (November 27, 1932 – August 21, 1983) was a Filipino politician who served as a Senator of the Philippines (1967–1972) and governor of the province of Tarlac. He was the husband of former Philippine President Corazon Aquino and father of former Philippine President Benigno Aquino III. Aquino, together with Jovito Salonga , formed the leadership of the opposition towards then President Ferdinand Marcos. Shortly after the imposition of martial law, he was arrested in 1972 along with others associated with the Communists’ armed insurgency and incarcerated for seven years. He founded his own party, Lakas ng Bayan , and ran in the 1978 Philippine parliamentary election , but all of the party’s candidates, including Aquino, lost in the election. In 1980, Aquino was permitted by Marcos to travel to the United States for medical treatment following a heart attack. He was assassinated at the Manila International Airport in 1983 upon returning from his self-imposed exile. His death catapulted his widow, Corazon, into the political limelight, and prompted her to successfully run for a six-year term as President as a member of the
Ninoy Aquino was born on November 27, 1932 in Concepcion, Tarlac to Benigno Aquino Sr. and Aurora Lampa-Aquino. The second of seven children and a part of a prominent land-owning family with a rich political history, Ninoy learned to love being around people. As his biographies describe, Ninoy enjoyed entertaining the family’s visitors and giving speeches even at an early age.
On the other hand, Ninoy was not too fond of going to school. He attended various schools during his elementary years before graduating from St. Joseph’s College. He completed his high school education at the San Beda College and then pursued his college education at the Ateneo de Manila University, where he took AB Philosophy before shifting to AB History. He later took up law at the University of the Philippines, where he joined Upsilon Sigma Phi, the same fraternity as Ferdinand Marcos. Ninoy’s studies, however, were interrupted when he decided instead to pursue a career in journalism.
In 1954, Ninoy married Corazon Cojuangco, the daughter of another land-owning family from Tarlac and a childhood acquaintance of Ninoy.