Ghanaian politician, President (1982–2001). Of mixed Ghanaian and Scottish parentage, Rawlings was born in Accra and educated in military academies. He won a commission in the country's air force in 1969 and was promoted to flight-lieutenant in 1978. In the following year, he was at the head of a group of junior officers that overthrew the government and installed a civilian administration. In 1981, however, Rawlings staged a second coup and declared himself head of state.
Rawlings executed a number of politicians after the 1981 coup for alleged corruption and suspended constitutional rule for a period. In the later 1980s, however, he implemented an IMF/World Bank plan for Ghana's economic recovery and restored multiparty politics. In 1992, after promulgating a new constitution, he resigned and successfully contested the presidential elections as a civilian.
Subjects: Social Sciences — History.