Awori was born in Butere. He went to Mang’u High School in 1935, and later Kakamega School.Subsequently he studied at Makerere University in Uganda.
He was first elected as a Member of Parliament representing Funyula Constituency in Busia District in Western Province in 1983.Under President Daniel arap Moi, he served in several positions as assistant minister.
Awori broke with the ruling party, KANU, in 2002 and joined the National Rainbow Coalition opposition party, and is chairman of NARC’S top decision making organ.When Moi was succeeded by Mwai Kibaki, Awori was made Minister of Home Affairs in January 2003 and then Vice-President (while remaining in charge of Home Affairs) in September 2003, following the death of the previous Vice-President, Michael Kijana Wamalwa in London.
Awori is the ninth vice president since Kenya’s independence in 1963. Others before him were Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Joseph Murumbi, former President Daniel arap Moi, former President Mwai Kibaki, Prof Josephat Karanja, Prof George Saitoti, and Musalia Mudavadi.
In the December 2007 parliamentary election he lost his seat in Parliament.On 8 January 2008, Kibaki named Kalonzo Musyoka to replace Awori as Vice-President and Minister of Home Affairs, and Awori handed over the office on 9 January.