Yingluck will become Thailand's 28th prime minister, the country's fifth since the 2006 coup.
Born June 21, 1967, Yingluck was raised in the northern province of Chiang Mai the youngest of 10 siblings. The Shinawatra family ran several businesses in the country's second-biggest city, including a cinema where a young and diligent Yingluck helped her parents sell tickets.
Old snapshots from that time unearthed by the Thai press show her in makeup and parade costumes, with neatly braided hair.
"Everyone remembered her because she was the beautiful one," a high school teacher said in an interview with VoiceTV, the Thai cable news channel founded by her nephew Panthongtae.
After graduating with a bachelor's degree in public administration in 1988 from her hometown university, Yingluck went to the U.S. to pursue a master's degree in the same field at Kentucky State University.
Upon her return to Thailand in 1991, Yingluck became a saleswoman at Shinawatra Directories, a Yellow Pages publisher owned by Thaksin. She then climbed the career ladder at other family businesses, most notably at the mobile phone provider AIS, then the Shinawatra flagship enterprise. Her last position before entering politics was as president of SC Asset, a Shinawatra real estate development arm.
Now a mother of a 9-year-old, Yingluck collects perfume bottles of different sizes and likes to play golf with her family in her free time.
She says her business acumen will serve the country well despite her lack of hands-on political experience.
"In terms of the principles of politics, I think I understand well," Yingluck told The Associated Press in an interview before the July 3 election, pointing out that parents and siblings alike have served as politicians. Thailand "needs someone who has leadership, who has the management skills to help the country."
Those skills will be tested on the economic front as Yingluck will be pressed to deliver on campaign promises of a big increase in the minimum wage, credit cards for farmers and tablet computers for schoolchildren. The populist theme played well with voters, but critics claim the treasury can't sustain them.