Born: March 29, 1949, in Quebec City.
Education: Bachelor's degree in social services from Universite Laval; master's in business administration from l'Ecole des hautes etudes commerciales in Montreal.
Professional career: Social services administrator from 1971 to 1979; political attache for PQ in 1978 and 1979; university professor, 1988.
Political career: First elected to legislature 1981; named to cabinet in 1982 as minister for status of women; ran for PQ leadership in 1985, losing to Pierre Marc Johnson; served in various senior cabinet positions in PQ governments from 1994 to 2003, including finance (1995-1996, 2001-2002), health (1998-2001); deputy premier (2001-2003); ran for PQ leadership in 2005, losing to Andre Boisclair; acclaimed as PQ leader in 2007; became leader of Official Opposition following 2008 provincial election.
Personal: Married to Claude Blanchet, former head of Quebec government's investment arm. They have four children.
Quote: "Canada has become a risk for Quebec... Rather than being a distinct province, we would prefer that Quebec become a normal country." — Marois at her campaign launch.