She became the first female President in Panamanian history and served from 1999 to 2004. Her from rags to glory story was a great inspiration to many people in her country.
She first became involved in politics in 1968 and married three-time president,
She was in office when Panama seized control of the Panama Canal from the United States in 1999.
She married businessman, Richard Gruber and they adopted a son named Richard; though the couple would later divorce in 97.
She was highly critical of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez up to his death.