Former President Jerry John Rawlings was a former Ghanaian military leader and politician who ruled the country from 1981 to 2001 and also for a brief period in 1979.

He died on Thursday, November 12, 2020, aged 73.

He was born on June 22, 1947, to James Ramsey John, a Scottish chemist from Castle Douglas in Kirkcudbrightshire and Ghanaian mother, Victoria Agbotui.

He was the founder of the National Democratic Congress, the name Rawlings has now become a household name though not his real surname.

He was educated at Achimota College and the military academy at Teshie.

He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Ghanaian Air Force in 1969 and became a flight lieutenant and expert pilot, skilled in aerobatics.

In June 1979, Mr Rawlings and other junior officers led a successful military coup with the purported aim of purging the military and public life of widespread corruption.

He and his Armed Forces Revolutionary Council ruled for 112 days, during which time former heads of state, Gen. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong and Lt. Gen. Frederick W.K. Akufo were tried and executed.

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 airmanship.