Though Imelda Marcos may be best known for her extensive collection of shoes, gowns, and jewelry, there was much more to her. The former beauty queen married then-Philippine Congressman Ferdinand E. Marcos, who would become the country's 10th President in 1966. And Imelda, whom Marcos appointed to various positions in government, was a polarizing figure early on; in 1972, an assailant, Carlito Dimahilig, tried to stab her to death during a televised award ceremony.
Her Special Envoy duties took her around the world but went hand in hand with a lavish lifestyle, which reportedly included multi-million-dollar shopping trips to New York, Rome and Copenhagen; a massive property portfolia (although Marcos declined to buy the Empire State Building for $750m as she considered it "too ostentatious") and a collection of art including works by Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Canaletto. Marcos, who eventually had to sell or give up nearly all of her riches after her husband was overthrown in a popular revolt in 1986, responded to criticisms of her extravagance by maintaining it was her "duty" to be "some kind of light, a star to give [the poor] guidelines." Earlier this month, Imelda gave an interview where she admitted that she still dreams of a return to power but this time with her son Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. as president.