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Jerry Rawlings
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World Leader
    (June 22, 1947-November 12, 2020)
    Born in Accra, Ghana
    Birth name was Jerry Rawlings John
    Flight lieutenant in the Ghana Air Force
    Head of State of Ghana (June 4-September 24, 1979; 1981-1993)
    President of Ghana (1993-2001)
    When he joined the air force, his last and middle names were accidentally switched.
    He led an unsuccessful military coup (May 15, 1979).
    A month later, he led a successful coup and took power as head of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC).
    During the 112 days that the AFRC held power, he ordered the killings of eight generals, three former heads of state, and over 300 civilians.
    He handed power over to a civilian government, only to lead another coup two years later and take control again.
    He imposed unrealistic price controls that led to economic chaos.
    His first election as President (1992) was tainted by his control of state media and imposition of extreme campaign financing limits that made it virtually impossible for opposition parties to publicize themselves nationwide.
    He won the ‘Speed Bird Trophy’ as the air force’s best cadet.
    During his court martial after the May 15, 1979, coup, his attacks on government corruption and social injustice won him sympathy from the public.
    While awaiting execution after being sentenced to death for the coup, a group of soldiers rescued him from custody (June 4, 1979).
    He quickly reversed course to adopt conservative economic policies, including privatizing state companies and devaluing the currency to stimulate exports.
    By the early 1990s, Ghana had one of the highest economic growth rates in Africa.
    His second Presidential election – held after four years of liberalization, including the rise of independent newspapers – was described as ‘free and fair’ by international observers (1996).
    Upon his death, the government declared a seven-day period of mourning.

Credit: C. Fishel

    For 2020, as of last week, Out of 22 Votes: 100% Annoying
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