Flight-lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings is etched into the history of Ghana.
As a young man from a non political family background, he became the leader of Ghana for a little over 20 years.
For most of that 20 years, Rawlings was a military leader after leading a coup d’etat in 1981 against Hilla Limann.
That was his second coup as in 1979 Rawlings had led his first coup to overthrow Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, who himself came to power through a coup. He handed over power to Hilla Limann but ultimately launched another coup against him in 1981.
With his leadership of millitary rule in Ghana, it also meant that he became responsible for the actions of the millitary men he supervised.
That made Rawlings a divisive figure in current social political life in Ghana. There are those who love him dearly and others who also loathe him in equal measure.
The Rawlings story is a long one but below is a series of photos that paints a portrait of the late former president:
In 1981, Rawlings led his second coup that started his leadership of Ghana, which ran from 1981 to 2000.
Flt. Lt Rawlings never shied away from working with the ordinary man often rolling up his sleeves to clean up gutters and laying railway lines.
Rawlings was a supporter of the anti apartheid movement in South Africa.
As a democratically elected President under the dispensation of the 1992 Constitution, Rawlings hosted then American President and First Lady Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton in Ghana in 1998.
In 1995, Rawlings presented the the Diamond of Africa award to Michael Jackson.
Always at his side was his ever devoted wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings. The couple married in 1977 and had been married for 43 years.
Despite being a President and having a high flying military carrier, he was a father to four amazing children.
As the President who supervised the introduction of the 1992 Constitution, Rawlings was the first President of Ghana’s fourth republic. Since then, four other President have followed him. Not included in the photo below is the late President John Evans Atta Mills.
Rest in peace, Sir.
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