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Brief Biography Of Jerry Rawlings, Former Ghana President, Who Died Recently



A brief history of former President Jerry John Rawlings of Ghana who died recently, as gathered by

The former president understands passed on, on Thursday, November 12, 2020, after a brief illness.
According to, the former President had been on
admission at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital for about a week for an
undisclosed ailment. He was 73.
It will be recalled that Mr Rawlings recently lost and buried his mother
last month.
Jerry John Rawlings was born in Accra on 22nd June 1947, to a Ghanaian
mother from Dzelukope, near Keta, in the Volta Region, and a Scottish


Background of Rawlings
Jerry John Rawlings was born in Accra on 22nd June 1947, to a Ghanaian
mother from Dzelukope, near Keta, in the Volta Region, and a Scottish
He was educated at Achimota School where he obtained his General
Certificate of Education ‘O’ Level in 1966.
He enlisted as a Flight Cadet in the Ghana Air Force in August 1967, and
was subsequently selected for officer cadet training at the Ghana
Military Academy and Training School, Teshie, in Accra.

In March 1968, he was posted to Takoradi in the Western Region to
continue his course.
He passed out in January 1969, as a commissioned Pilot Officer. He won
the coveted “Speed Bird Trophy” as the best cadet in flying and
He earned the rank of Flight-Lieutenant in April 1978. He was an
efficient officer with a close rapport with his men.
During his service with the Ghana Air Force, he witnessed the
deterioration of discipline and morale, reflecting the corruption of the
regime of the Supreme Military Council (SMC) at that time.
As promotion brought him into contact with the privileged classes and
their social values, his awareness of the injustices in society was


He was thus regarded with some unease by the SMC. He read widely and
discussed social and political ideas with a growing circle of
like-minded friends and colleagues.
On May 28, 1979, Flt.-Lt. Rawlings, together with six others, appeared
before a General Court Martial in Accra, charged with leading a mutiny
of junior officers and men of the Ghana Armed Forces on 15th May, 1979.
There was strong public reaction, especially after his statement had
been read in court, explaining the social injustices that had prompted
him to act.
The ranks of the Armed Forces, in particular, expressed deep sympathy
with his stated aims. When he was scheduled for another court appearance
on 4th June, 1979, Flt.-Lt. Rawlings was sprung from custody. With the
support of both military and civilians, he led a revolt, which
decisively ousted the Supreme Military Council from office and brought
the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) into being.

The AFRC, under the chairmanship of Flt.Lt. Rawlings carried out a
“house-cleaning exercise” aimed at purging the Armed Forces and society
at large of corruption and graft as well as restoring a sense of moral
responsibility and the principles of accountability and probity in
public life.
Meanwhile, following the programme already set in motion before the 4th
June Uprising for civilian administration, general elections were held.
On 24th September 1979, the AFRC handed over to the civilian Government
of the People’s National Party (PNP) under President Hilla Limann.
On 31st December 1981, Flt. Lt. Rawlings led a section of the Armed
Forces to overthrow the PNP administration. A Provisional National
Defence Council (PNDC), composed of both civilian and military members,
was established, with Flt-Lt. J.J. Rawlings as the Chairman.


His interests include reading, building model aircraft, horse-riding and
swimming. He is married to Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings with whom he has
four children – three girls and a boy.
Flt-Lt. Rawlings ceased to be a member of the Ghana Armed Forces with
effect from September 14, 1992. He formed the National Democratic
Congress, which contested and won the 1992 Presidential and
Parliamentary elections. He and the party again won the 1996 elections.
His term of office ended in the year 2000.

He is the joint recipient of the 1993 World Hunger Prize. He holds an
Honorary Doctor of Law Degree from Medgar Evers College, City University
of New York and Lincoln University Doctorate Degree for Diplomacy and


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