Miss Leyte in 1953, Imelda Remedios Visitacion Romualdez-Marcos (born Imelda Remedios Visitacion Trinidad Romualdez on July 2, 1929) is the widow of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and is herself an influential political figure in the Philippines. The Marcos regime (1965-86) was marked by notorious corruption, political repression and gross financial shenanigans, acts to which Imelda was almost certainly privy. The Marcoses were finally deposed in 1986 and fled to Hawaii, where Ferdinand died in 1989. Imelda Marcos later returned to the Philippines and, despite everything, was elected a legislative representative from her native district of Leyte. In 1990 she went to trial on racketeering charges in New York City, with the government alleging she and her husband had stolen some $200 million from the Philippines National Bank and invested it in America. In 1998 she was arrested and charged with corruption and amassing a fortune of up to five billion dollars illegally during her husband's regime, but her conviction was later overturned. In 2008 she was acquitted of longstanding charges of graft and hiding skimmed money in Swiss bank accounts. In later years she has pled poverty while still living well and managing to remain in the public eye.
- In 1996, the Australian Magazine ranked her 58th among "The 100 Most Powerful Women in the World".
- Newsweek, meanwhile, listed her in 2009 as one of the "Greediest People of All Time".
- She said she pleads guilty to being the "greediest for the good, true and beautiful."
After the Marcos regime was overthrown in 1986, opposition forces found thousands of pairs of high-fashion shoes in Imelda's closets; the shoes became a symbol of her life of luxury amid the poverty of most Filipinos. She owned 2,700 pairs of shoes to be exact.