Ferdinand Marcos, in full Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, (born September 11, 1917, Sarrat, Philippines—died September 28, 1989, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.), Philippine lawyer and politician who, as head of state from 1966 to 1986,

established an authoritarian regime in the Philippines that came under criticism for corruption and for its suppression of democratic processes.Marcos attended school in Manila and studied law in the late 1930s at the University of the Philippines, near that city. Tried for the assassination in 1933 of a political opponent of his politician father, Marcos was found guilty in November 1939. But he argued his case on appeal to the Philippine Supreme Court and won acquittal a year later. He became a trial lawyer in Manila. During World War II he was an officer with the Philippine armed forces. Marcos’s later claims of having been a leader in the Filipino guerrilla resistance movement were a central factor in his political success, but U.S. government archives revealed that he actually played little or no part in anti-Japanese activities during 1942–45.

From 1946 to 1947 Marcos was a technical assistant to Manuel Roxas, the first president of the independent Philippine republic. He was a member of the House of Representatives (1949–59) and of the Senate (1959–65), serving as Senate president (1963–65). In 1965 Marcos, who was a prominent member of the Liberal Party founded by Roxas, broke with it after failing to get his party’s nomination for president. He then ran as the Nationalist Party candidate for president against the Liberal president, Diosdado Macapagal. The campaign was expensive and bitter. Marcos won and was inaugurated as president on December 30, 1965. In 1969 he was reelected, becoming the first Philippine president to serve a second term. During his first term he had made progress in agriculture, industry, and education. Yet his administration was troubled by increasing student demonstrations and violent urban guerrilla activities.