On September 21, 1972 he issued Proclamation No. 1081 placing the entire country under martial law and made himself dictator. On January 17, 1973 Marcos then declared himself President for Life of the Philippines.
The Marcos regime was marred by widespread corruption and political mis-management. Marcos, and his glamorous wife Imelda lived an extremely lavish lifestyle while much of the country's population remained mired in poverty. Such insensitivity would eventually lead to their downfall.
On February 25, 1986 Marcos fled the Philippines following a massive public backlash after an unsuccessful attempt to rig an election (see EDSA Revolution). He lived in exile in Hawaii until his death in 1989.