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About Pauline Marois
Marois was born at Saint-François d'Assise Hospital, in Limoilou, a working-class neighborhood of Quebec City. Daughter of Marie-Paule (born Gingras) and Grégoire Marois, a heavy machinery mechanic, she is the oldest of five children. She was raised in a small two-story brick house built by her father in Saint-Étienne-de-Lauzon – a village now amalgamated with the city of Lévis—, facing the provincial capital on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River.
According to Marois, her parents were nationalists and devout Catholics, but remained rather uninvolved politically. Her mother's efforts to have the family recite the Holy Rosary at night generally lasted for two or three days. Marois has recalled that her father was sympathetic to the ideas of the Social Credit and the Union Nationale party; he kept current with the news and even bought the family a television set in the early 1950s.
During her youth, Marois recalls in her autobiography, published in 2008, her parents had "profound intuitions", and although her father regretted his own lack of status and education, he was ready to sacrifice in order to get a decent education for his children. Her three brothers, Denis, Robert and Marc, and her sister, Jeannine, would all graduate with university degrees.
She first attended the small parish school in nearby Saint-Rédempteur, where Marois recalls that she excelled in French, History and Geography, developed an interest for reading and received numerous books as prizes for her academic achievements. At the age of 12, she was enrolled at Collège Jésus-Marie de Sillery, an exclusive, all-girl, Catholic private school attended by the offspring of the local bourgeoisie, an episode she describes as a "culture shock", leaving an permanent mark on her outlook and future choices.
According to her autobiography, Marois became aware of her lower social status in school and in the affluent houses of Sillery, where she sometimes gave a hand to her mother, who did housecleaning jobs in order to pay tuition. She was active in school clubs and describes herself as a good student, although she failed her English and Latin classes, momentarily putting her place in school in jeopardy.