Born on 22 June 1947 to Victoria Agbotui and James Ramsey John, a chemist from the United Kingdom, Jerry John Rawlings is well known as the former head of state from 4 June 1979 to 24 September 1979 and 31 December 1981 to 7 January 1993, and also president of Ghana from 7 January 1993 to 7 January 2001. The former military man attended Achimota School and during his early years in the military and also as a pilot he won the coveted “Speed Bird Trophy” as the best cadet in flying the Su-7 ground attack supersonic jet aircraft in 1969.
Rawlings was arrested in may 1979 for a coup attempt against the government of General Fred Akuffo together with six other soldiers by the Ghanaian Military. He was sentenced to death but a speech he gave during his trial resonated with a large section of the public that rose up in his defence. Consequently, on 4 June, soldiers sympathetic to his motivations broke him out of jail, and he led a revolt of both the military and civilians which overthrew General Akuffo and the Supreme Military Council, effectively leaving him in charge.
Jerry got married to Nana Konadu Agyeman in 1977 and they have four children together including Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings. He was succeeded by John Agyekum Kufuor after his tenure as president came to an end in 2001.