After serving in the Senate of the Philippines and holding office as both Commissioner of Justice and Commissioner of the Interior, this Filipino politician served a two-year term as President of the Philippines during the World War II era of Japanese rule.
He studied law at the University of the Philippines, the University of Santo Tomas, and Yale University.
In the years before becoming President of the Philippines, he was a member of the Nacionalista Party. During his country's period of Japanese control, he temporarily shifted his allegiance to the Japanese-supported KALIBAPI Party.
His marriage to Paciencia Hidalgo resulted in nine children. Four of his sons -- Jose Laurel Jr., Jose Laurel III, Sotero Laurel II, and Salvador Laurel -- also had political careers.
He and Manuel Roxas both held office as President of the Philippines in the mid-Twentieth Century.