Ghana’s former President, Jerry John Rawlings was born on June 22, 1947. As a former Ghanaian military leader and subsequent politician, Mr Rawlings led a military junta from 1981 until 1992, and then served two terms as the democratically elected President of Ghana from January 7, 1993 to January 6, 2001.
Mr Rawlings initially came to power as a flight lieutenant of the Ghana Air Force following a coup d’état in 1979.
Prior to that, he led an unsuccessful coup attempt against the ruling military government on May 15, 1979, just five weeks before scheduled democratic elections were due to take place.
After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took back control of the country on December 31, 1981 as the Chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).
In 1992, Mr Rawlings resigned from the military, founded the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and became the first President of the 4th Republic.
He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years.
After two terms in office, the limit according to the Ghanaian Constitution, Rawlings endorsed his vice-president John Atta Mills as presidential candidate in 2000.
Mr. Rawlings was reported dead Thursday morning at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital after a short illness.