Biographies

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam : The Missile Man

Born in 1931 in Dhanushkodi, India, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam joined India’s defense department after graduating from the Madras Institute of Technology. He was a central figure in the development of the country’s nuclear capabilities, and was hailed as a national hero after a series of successful tests in 1998. Kalam served as India’s president for one term, and died of a heart attack on July 27, 2015.

Quick facts

FULL NAME :  Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam

FAMOUS AS : Former President of India, Scientist

NATIONALITY : Indian

BORN ON : 15 October 1931 AD

BIRTHDAY : 15th October

DIED AT AGE : 83

SUN SIGN : Libra

PLACE OF BIRTH : Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu

DIED ON : 27 July 2015 AD

PLACE OF DEATH : Shillong, Meghalaya, India

AWARDS: Bharat Ratna (1997)
Padma Vibhushan (1990)
Padma Bhushan (1981)

SPOUSE : Not married

Major Works

He worked with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as an aerospace engineer before becoming the President of India. His work on the development of launch vehicle and ballistic missile technology had earned him the name of the ‘Missile Man of India’. The Pokhran-II nuclear tests conducted in India in 1998 after the age-long original nuclear test of 1974 saw him in a pivotal political, organisational and technical role.

Early Life and Carrier

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born into a Muslim family on October 15, 1931, on the island of Dhanushkodi off the southeastern coast of India. He developed an early fascination with flight by watching birds, which developed into an interest in aeronautics after he saw a newspaper article about a British fighter plane.

Despite his modest beginnings – his dad built and rented boats – Kalam was a bright student who showed promise in science and mathematics. He attended St. Joseph’s College, and went on to earn a degree in aeronautical engineering from the Madras Institute of Technology.

 Death

On July 27, 2015, Kalam suffered a massive heart attack while lecturing at the Indian Institute of Management and subsequently died at the age of 83.

Kalam was laid to rest on July 30 with full state honors in his native Tamil Nadu. In honor of the scientist and former president, the southeast Indian state government of Tamil Nadu created a “Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Award,” which recognizes exceptional individuals who promote the sciences, students and humanities.

Awards & Achievements of Kalam

  • Kalam was the proud recipient of Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna awards from the Government of India. He received the same in the years 1981, 1990 and 1997, respectively.
  • In 1997, he was honored by the Government of India with the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration.
  • Later, the next year, he was awarded the Veer Savarkar Award by the Government of India.
  • The Alwars Research Centre, Chennai, bestowed Kalam with Ramanujan Award in the year 2000.
  • Kalam was honored with the King Charles II Medal by the Royal Society, U.K in 2007.
  • In 2008, he won the Hoover Medal given by ASME Foundation, USA.
  • In 2008, he won the Hoover Medal given by ASME Foundation, USA.
  • The California Institute of Technology, U.S.A, presented Kalam with the International von Karman Wings Award in the year 2009.
  • The IEEE honored Kalam with IEEE Honorary Membership in 2011.
  • Kalam was the proud recipient of honorary doctorates from 40 universities.
  • In addition to this, Kalam’s 79th birthday was recognised as World Students’ Day by United Nations.
  • He was nominated for the MTV Youth Icon of the Year award in 2003 and in 2006.

Quotes and Sayings by J. J. Thomson

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.
Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy success
You have to dream before your dreams can come true.

Some Unknown Facts About A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

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Source
  • A.P.J. Abdul Kalam grew up in poverty and distributed newspapers as a young boy to contribute to his father’s meager income.
  • He was a protégé of the great Indian scientist Dr. Vikram Sarabhai who guided him and gave him valuable advice.
  • He always faced the press following failed tests at ISRO and accepted responsibility for his mistakes but never claimed the credit for any of the massive successes achieved at the organization.
  • He was the first bachelor to become the president and occupy Rashtrapati Bhawan.
  • Kalam was the third President of India to have been honored with a Bharat Ratna before being elected to the office of President.
  • He was known to write his own thank you cards with personalized messages in his own handwriting.
  • He was a scholar of Thirukkural (a classic of couplets or Kurals) and was known to quote at least one couplet in most of his speeches.
  • He had a keen interest in literature and wrote poems in his native Tamil.
  • A practicing Muslim, he was also well versed with Hindu traditions and read the Bhagavad Gita.
  • He had more than a million followers on Twitter but followed only 38 people.

Kalam’s writings

  • Developments in Fluid Mechanics and Space Technology by A P J Abdul Kalam and Roddam Narasimha; Indian Academy of Sciences, 1988
  • India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium by A P J Abdul Kalam, Y. S. Rajan; New York, 1998.
  • Wings of Fire: An Autobiography by A P J Abdul Kalam, Arun Tiwari; Universities Press, 1999.
  • Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power Within India by A P J Abdul Kalam; Viking, 2002.
  • The Luminous Sparks by A P J Abdul Kalam, by; Punya Publishing Pvt Ltd., 2004.
  • Mission India by A P J Abdul Kalam, Paintings by Manav Gupta; Penguin Books, 2005
  • Inspiring Thoughts by A P J Abdul Kalam; Rajpal & Sons, 2007
  • Indomitable Spirit by A P J Abdul Kalam; Rajpal and Sons Publishing
  • Envisioning an Empowered Nation by A P J Abdul Kalam with A Sivathanu Pillai; Tata McGraw-Hill, New Delhi
  • You Are Born To Blossom: Take My Journey Beyond by A P J Abdul Kalam and Arun Tiwari; Ocean Books, 2011.
  • Turning Points: A journey through challenges by A P J Abdul Kalam; Harper Collins India, 2012.
  • Target 3 Billion by A P J Abdul Kalam and Srijan Pal Singh; December 2011 | Publisher Penguin Books.
  • My Journey: (titled எனது பயணம் – Tamil) Transforming Dreams into Actions by A P J Abdul Kalam; August 2013 by the Rupa Publication.
  • A Manifesto for Change: A Sequel to India 2020 by A P J Abdul Kalam and V Ponraj; July 2014 by Harper Collins.
  • Forge your Future: Candid, Forthright, Inspiring by A P J Abdul Kalam; by Rajpal and Sons, 29 October 2014.
  • Reignited: Scientific Pathways to a Brighter Future by A P J Abdul Kalam and Srijan Pal Singh; by Penguin India, 14 May 2015.
  • Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji by A P J Abdul Kalam with Arun Tiwari; HarperCollins Publishers, June 2015
  • Advantage India: From Challenge to Opportunity by A P J Abdul Kalam and Srijan Pal Singh; HarperCollins Publishers,15 Oct 2015.

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