James Ramsey John James Ramsey John

James Ramsey John Recalling Life & Death

James Ramsey John was a famous chemist in the United Kingdom, he is however famed for being the father of the former Ghana President Jerry John Rawlings. Read further to find out a little more about the life of this politician’s parents and his profession.

Personal Life

James Ramsey John was a Scottish pharmacist born in 1907 in Castle Douglas, United Kingdom, he is of British nationality. He worked at Kingsway Chemist and had moved to Ghana during the colonial era.

During his time in Ghana, James met Victoria, the mother of Jerry John Rawlings at a social event and they were in a secret affair. James was already married to a woman named Mary with whom he had no children. It was after his six-year affair with Victoria that he had his first and only son, Jerry John Rawlings who was a product of their affair. James however never acknowledged his son even up to his death in 1982.

His son, Jerry John Rawlings

Jerry John Rawlings is the former president of Ghana. He was born on 22nd June 1947 in Accra, Ghana to Madam Victoria Agbotui and James Ramsey John. He did his schooling at the Achimota School and went on to pursue further studies at the Achimota College where he met his future wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman. The pair married in 1977 and have four children together, named Zanetor, Yaa Asantewaa, Amina and Kimathi.

After his education, Jerry joined the Ghana Air Force and was a remarkable officer. He won the Speed Bird Trophy for his skills and was rewarded with the rank of flight lieutenant in 1978. Jerry’s political career began when he noticed morale issues in the Supreme Military Council. He joined the University of Ghana’s student community from where he developed more of a leftist ideology. He had organized several coups against the government. Before he could enter into politics fully, Jerry led a military junta, which was a government led by military leaders up until 1992. Much later in 1992, Jerry stood for elections and had won by a 60% margin. He again contested for elections in 1996 and won. However, he retired from elections in the year 2001.  Post his retirement Jerry was an active member of the National Democratic Congress of Ghana and delivered lectures across different universities like the Oxford University in England.

Unfortunately, Jerry John Rowlings passed away on 12th November 2020 in Accra’s Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. He died due to Covid-19 complications. Jerry was given a state funeral and a seven-day mourning period for the people of Ghana. His funeral was attended by national and international politicians, diplomats and other dignitaries.

Facts about James Ramsey John’s Family Members

  • James Ramsey John’s son, Jerry John Rawlings was honored with the Order of Jose Marti by Fidel Castro.
  • James Ramsey John’s granddaughter is a Ghanaian politician and medical doctor. She is a member of the National Democratic Congress.
  • James Ramsey John’s son, Jerry John Ramsey founded the National Democratic Congress of Ghana.


Although James Ramsey John wasn’t a remarkable father, his rejection helped his son strive to great heights and become the face of Ghana politics.  Jerry is the prime example of how one must strive to do better irrespective of the rejections faced.