Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (A. P. J. Abdul Kalam) was an aerospace scientist born on 15 October 1931 to a poor Tamil Muslim family in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu (India). Kalam earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Madras Institute of Technology. He served as the 11th President of India during the tenure of 2002 to 2007.
Kalam spent about four decades of his life serving as a scientist in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He was intimately involved in India’s space program and Indian military missile development efforts. For his tremendous work on missile development technology, he thus came to be known as the Missile Man of India. Kalam also played a key role in India’s successful Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998.
Kalam was elected as the 11th President of India in 2002. He was better known as “People’s President” and loved by every citizen.
A. P. J Abdul Kalam was a recipient of several prestigious awards including the highest civilian award of India – Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan. He wrote some popular books like India 2020 and Wings of Fire.
He died from an apparent cardiac arrest on 27 July 2015, aged 83 while giving a lecture in IIM (Shillong).
The inspiring journey of his life from being a poor man to the President of India will always motivate people in achieving their life goals.