Jovanović was born in the village of Pazarište near Gospić in Lika (then Military Frontier, Austrian Empire, today Croatia). He joined the Austrian army in 1845 and during 1848–1849 fought under general Radetzky in Italy. In 1850 he was transferred to the General staff and later served as an adjutant of general Gabriel Rodić in southern Dalmatia.
Between 1861 and 1865 Jovanović served as Austrian consul general in Sarajevo. Because of his knowledge of Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro and Krivošije, he was recalled up into the army in 1865, as a colonel. In 1866, during the Austro-Prussian War he fought in Italy under archduke Albert. During the 1869 insurrection in Boka Kotorska, he commanded a Gebirgsjäger (mountain troops) brigade in Kotor (Cattaro) that tried to suppress the uprising, but failed.
In 1877 he commanded the 18th division in Split (Spalato), year later he was commanding the occupation of Herzegovina by Austro-Hungarian Army. Later he served as military commander in Herzegovina, governor of Dalmatia and military commander of Zadar (Zara).
He died in 1885 in Zadar.
- Oršolić, Tado (1 December 1999). "Sudjelovanje dalmatinskih postrojbi u zaposjedanju Bosne i Hercegovine 1878." (PDF). Radovi/Institute for historical sciences in Zadar (in Croatian). Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. ISSN 1330-0474. Retrieved 13 January 2011.