Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born on \(15\) October \(1931\) in Rameswaram. It belonged to Madras Presidency in Tamil Nadu. He hailed from a very humble background, as his father was a boat owner who ferried people to Rameshwaram, and his mother, a housewife. Kalam had three brothers and one sister, and he was the youngest of them all. He attended the Schwartz Higher Secondary School, Ramanathapuram. Although he was termed as an average student, he was good at Mathematics. He loved to crack difficult Math problems. He later went to St. Joseph's College, Thiruchirappalli, and gained a degree in Physics in \(1954\). He attended the Madras Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the prestigious institutes in the country, in \(1955\) to take up Aerospace Engineering.
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Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam*
After getting his engineering degree, Kalam went on to become the most renowned Scientists of the Nation, who even worked with Vikram Sarabhai, the best space scientist. He started working in the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation, initially by designing a hovercraft, an amphibious craft that is capable of moving in land, water and mud. It was in \(1969\); his career reached heights when he started working for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He was the project director of India's first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III). He also played a very important role in the Pokhran II test. He is called the 'Missile man of India'.
In \(2002\), he became the \(11th\) president of India, succeeding R.K. Narayan. He was affectionately called as 'People's president' for his efficient reign. He is known to have acted upon only \(1\) of the \(21\) mercy plea petitions that were submitted to him. Mercy plea petitions are submitted by convicts who are sentenced to death. After leaving his office, he became a visiting professor in IITs and IIMs. His death in \(2015\), when he was in IIT Shillong, shook the nation and condolences poured in from across countries. He is known for his autobiography "Wings of Fire", where he narrates his childhood experiences, works in ISRO etc., and "India \(2020\)", where he envisions India as a developed nation by the end of \(2020\).
Famous Works:
  • The Luminous Sparks
  • Mission India
  • India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium
  • Wings of Fire: An Autobiography
  • You Are Born To Blossom: Take My Journey Beyond