Today in History, on July 24, 2012, exactly 8 years ago, Ghana’s president John Evans Atta Mills died at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra, three days after his 68th birthday.
Ghana’s President John Evans Atta Mills died suddenly on Tuesday at the age of 68, hours after being taken ill and months before a vote in which he was to seek re-election.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the sudden and untimely death of the president of the republic of Ghana,” the statement said, adding that Mills, who had travelled recently abroad for a medical check-up, died hours after he got sick.
He died in a hospital in the capital Accra, his office said, without providing a cause.
John Evans Atta Mills took over as Ghana’s president in January 2009.
He narrowly won the vote in 2008 with a less than one percent margin against a candidate from the party of incumbent John Kufuor, widely respected for having bowed out following his two terms in office.
In July last year, Mills was nominated to be the ruling National Democratic Congress party’s presidential candidate for December 2012 elections.
The primary represented the first time in the country’s history that a sitting president competed for his own party’s nomination.
Mills beat his only rival in the party primary, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, the wife of ex-military leader Jerry Rawlings.
He rose to prominence in 1997 when Rawlings named him vice president — a position he held until the former coup leader-turned-elected president made way for Kufuor after the 2000 elections.
After finishing his law studies in Britain, Mills came home to teach law for 25 years at a Ghana university.