Jawara studied veterinary medicine in Glasgow and Liverpool. In 1958 he became chief veterinary officer from the British colony of Gambia. When two years later he resigned from this office, he founded the People's Progressive Party. In 1960 he was appointed Minister of Education. He served as Prime Minister of 1962 to 1970. After the monarchy was abolished in Gambia, Jawara was posted on April 24, 1970 President. Gambia was under Jawara influenced primarily democratic ( in comparison with most of the de - colonized countries in Africa ).
After a bloody coup attempt on 30 July 1981 which was suppressed only with the help of Senegalese troops, united Jawara Gambia in 1982 with the Senegalese Senegambia Confederation, whose vice-president he was. After this disbanded in 1989, he was President of the Gambia in 1992 and was re-elected for the fifth time. On July 22, 1994, a second coup attempt was successful, which was led by Lieutenant Yahya Jammeh, and Jawara went into exile in London.
On 1 June 2002 Jawara returned with his family from London and now living on the coast in Fajara in Bakau.