Drowota was born in Williamsburg, Kentucky but moved with his family to Nashville, Tennessee as a small boy. He attended Montgomery Bell Academy, graduating in 1956. He matriculated at Vanderbilt University that year, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science in 1960. Drowota served on active duty in the United States Navy from 1960 to 1962. He then attended the Vanderbilt University Law School, and was awarded the Juris Doctor degree in 1965. He served in the United States Naval Reserve as a Judge Advocate General's Corps officer.
Drowota practiced law with Goodpasture, Carpenter, Woods & Sasser in Nashville until 1970, when he was elected chancellor of the Davidson County Chancery Court. From this position he was elevated to the Tennessee Court of Appeals in 1974.
Drowota was elected to an unexpired term on the Tennessee Supreme Court in 1980, defeating George Brown, the court's first African-American member, who had been appointed to the position by the then-Governor of Tennessee Lamar Alexander. He was subsequently re-elected to full eight-year terms in 1982, 1990, and 1998, the last time under provisions of the Tennessee Plan. During his tenure on the Supreme Court, he was elected by his peers to two terms as Chief Justice.
Drowota is now retired and living in Nashville. He serves as a trustee of the Frist Foundation, Montgomery Bell Academy and the Nashville School of Law, and in 2007 he became chair-elect of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee.
Tennessee Blue Book, 1991–1994 and 2005-2006 editions
2007-08 Facebook, Leadership Nashville
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