A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was born to Jainulabdeen and Ashiamma on October 15, 1931.
He graduated from Saint Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli in 1954 but not satisfied with his degree, he left for Madras later next year to study aerospace engineering. He enrolled at the Madras Institute of Technology (MIT).
After graduating from MIT, Kalam took up the position of chief scientist at the Aeronautical Development Establishment of Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). However, the profile didn’t appeal Kalam much who shifted to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) where he was the project director of India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle.
Kalam was the Chief Executive of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (I.G.M.D.P) which researched in simultaneous development of a quiver of missiles instead of taking planned missiles one by one.
From 1992 until 1999, Kalam was appointed as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of Defence Research and Development Organisation. It was during this time that Kalam served as the Chief Project Coordinator for Pokhran II nuclear tests, after which he was fondly called the “Missile Man of India”.
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 2011, he launched his mission for the youth of the nation called the “What Can I Give Movement” with the main aim to defeat corruption in India.
Dr Abdul Kalam passed away at Bethany Hospital, Shillong, Meghalaya, due to heart failure after having collapsed during a lecture at Indian Institute of Management, Shillong.