“Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work.” – Abdul Kalam
Full Name : Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam
Known As : Missile Man of India
Born : 15 October 1931 in Rameswaram, Madras Presidency, British India
Died : 27 July 2015 in Shillong, Meghalaya, India(at the age of 83)
Nationality : Indian
Awards : Bharat Ratna(1997), Padma Vibhushan(1990), Padma Bhushan(1981) and many more
Books : India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium,, Wings of Fire (1999), Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power within India, Mission of India: A Vision of Indian Youth and many more.
A. P. J Abdul Kalam was a prominent Indian scientist and politician. He became the 11th president of India from 2002 to 2007. Before rising to that high office, he worked for about four decades as a scientist.
7 Interesting facts about A. P. J Kalam, President of India :
He Sold Newspapers
Kalam had to sell newspapers to supplement his family’s income while growing up. Even though he was born into a wealthy family, they lost their fortune with time. This happened after his father lost his ferry business.
He was an Average Student
Kalam was an average student despite his passion to learn. He had his education at the Schwartz Higher Secondary School. He later continued at the Saint Joseph College graduating in physics in 1954. From 1955 to 1960, he studied aerospace engineering at Madras Institute of Technology.
Before going into the political space of India, Kalam worked for about forty years as a scientist. He served as both scientist and administrator at the Defence Research and Development Organisation and the Indian Space Research Organisation. Through his initiative and contributions, India became one of the nuclear powers in the World.
The Missile Man
Kalam gained the nickname the Missile Man of India for his role in India’s civilian space programme and military missile development. Through his effort, India developed ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology. In 1998, Kalam also played a vital role in India’s Pokhran-II nuclear test, which was the first after the 1974 original nuclear test.
Kalam was the 11th President of India, serving from 2002 to 2007. He was elected with the support from the then ruling party Bharativa Janata Party and the opposition party Indian National Congress. This gained him the nickname, People’s President. Kalam served one term in office.
After serving his term in office, Kalam returned to the academia. He served as a visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong and the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. He also taught at the Indian Institute of Management Indore.
In 2015, Kalam was scheduled to deliver a lecture at the Institute of Management. While giving his lecture, he collapsed and died suddenly. The cause of his death is believed to cardiac arrest. He was given a state burial.