Abdul Kalam

Quick Facts:

Father’s name : Zaibul Abedin

Mother’s name : Ashiyamma

Birthday : 15th October, 1931

Born In : Rameswaram

Died On : 27th July, 2015

Nationality : Indian


Abul Pakir Zainul Abedin Abdul Kalam (APJ Abdul Kalam) was known as the President of the 20th Century, India’s ‘Missile Man’. He was the son of a very poor family. Not only as a scientist but also his unique role as an ideal man is noticeable. He first realized, ‘The best brains of the nation could be found on the last benches of the classroom’. 

Childhood Life:

Born on 15th October, 1931 in Rameswaram, a poor Muslim family was born in Ramnathaswami district, Abul Pakir Zainul Abedin Abdul Kalam. His father’s name was Zainul Abedin, who was the owner of a boat and his mother’s name was Ashiyamma, who was a housewife. Abdul Kalam was the youngest child of his parents. He has one elder sister and four elder brothers. His father Zainul Abedin used to help the pilgrims cross the boat between Rameshwaram and Dhanushkodi. She has to get to work to provide her family expenses since her childhood. His ancestors were  extremely wealthy and big businessmen, but they lost all their property. Because of this, extreme poverty consumed his family. So forced to sell magazines from a very young age, he had to help the family.

Student Life:

He was a medium, hard-working and intelligent student. After passing from Ramnathapuram Schwartz Matriculation School, he started writing in the newspaper, along with physics subjects at St. Joseph College of Tiruchirapalli. His intense desire for his studies gave him success in his student life. Then he came to Madras in 1955 and received his education from the Madras Institute of Technology on Aviation Technology. For a short time, he wasted the chance of being a warrior pilot. Note that he was the ninth place in the test of being a warrior pilot. The first 8 employees were taken for the post.

Working Life:

After completing the college in 1960, he was appointed as a scientist in Indian Defense Research and Development Organization’s Aeronautical Development Establishment. There he was an employee of the famous scientist Dr. Bikram Sarabhai. In 1965, he worked independently in the Defense Research and Development Organization. In 1969, he received official approval. He also took up the task of testing the Pokhran-2 missile in India in 1998. The united nations has recognized Dr. Kalam’s 79th birthday as World Student’s Day.

He made a plan for all over the country so that the welfare of the country could be achieved. His plan was called Technology Vision 2021. His aim was to improve the country's economic development, increase human health, increase agricultural production and, above all, education through this scheme.

In the mid-1990s, he achieved success by attempting to build the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and SLV-III. He was elected the 11th President of India in the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) and the National Congress in 2002 and served as the President for five years. He also studied Physics and Aviation Engineering. For the next forty years he joined the Indian Space Research Institute as a scientist. He also played an important role in India's interdisciplinary programs and military missile projects. Due to his famous ballistic missile research, he was called 'Indian Missile Man'. In his hand, ‘Agni’ and ‘Prithvi’ got the shape. 


  • APJ Abdul Kalam was honored with Padma Bhushan in 1981 as a recognition of his achievements. 
  • He was also honored with Padma Vibhushan in 1990 from the Indian Government for his work with DRDO and ISRO and as scientific advisor to the government.
  • He received the Bharat Ratna Award in 1997 for his contribution in the field of scientific research, development and modernisation of technology in the defense sector of India. 
  • In 1998 the Government of India gave him the ‘Veer Savakar’ award. 
  • The always Research Centre of Chennai bestowed on him the Ramanujan award in 2000. 
  • The Royal Society of UK honoured him with the King Charles II Medal in 2007. In 2008 he received the Doctor of Engineering from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. 
  • The California Institute of Technology, USA honoured him with the International von Karman Wings Award in 2009. 
  • He was given the Hoover Medal from USA in 2009. 
  • The University of Waterloo honoured him with the Doctor of Engineering in 2010. 
  • In 2011, he became an honorary member of the  IEEE. 
  • In 2012, the Simon Fraser University conferred him the Doctor of Laws. 
  • In 2013, he received the Von Braun Award from National Space Society in recognition of his excellence in the leadership and management of space related  projects. 
  • He received an honorary degree in Doctor of Science from Edinburgh University, UK in 2014. 
  • In 2015, the national missile test site in Odisha, Wheeler Island, was renamed Abdul Kalm Island. 
  • In 2015, October 15th, commemorative postal stamps on Dr. Kalam was released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 84th birth anniversary celebrations at DRDO Bhawan, New Delhi. 


Some of his famous books are-

  • ‘India 2020’: A version for the New Millennium, by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Y.S Rajan. 
  • ‘Turning points’: A journey through challanges. 
  • ‘Inspiring Thought’.
  • ‘Wings of  Fire’: An autobiography by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and A. Sivathanu Pillai , that also earned special prominence. 
  • Target 3 Billion, by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and A. Sivathanu Pillai. 
  • You Are Born To Blossom: Take My Journey Beyond, by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Arun Tiwari. 

Living Life:

He died after suffering a heart attack in Shillong town of Meghalaya on 27 July 2015. At the time of his death he was in the institute of the Indian Institute of Management. At the time of his death, he was 83 years old. Due to his death, a 7-day national mourn was observed. It is true that he is a man who, despite being a Muslim in the nation, did not hate any Hindu. People loved and respected him irrespective of caste.

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