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Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam Biography

Last updated date: 28th May 2024
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The Missile Man of India: Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

Great personalities are not born every day; they are born once in a century and are remembered for millennials to come. One such great personality that we will always be proud of is Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. His full name was Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, born in Rameswaram of Madras Presidency on 15th October 1931 and died on July 27, 2015, Shillong. He was an Indian Scientist and also a politician leader, who later became the 11th President of India. He played an important role in the development of India’s missile and nuclear weapons program.

It is an absolute honor for us to learn about his great leader in the form of his biography. Without much ado, let us start.

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam's Biography - About His Family and Struggle Life 

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam was born to a poor Tamil Muslim family. He lived with his family in the temple city of Tamilnadu, Rameswaram, where his father, Jainulabdeen, had a boat and was an imam of a local mosque. At the same time, his mother, Ashiamma, was a housewife. Kalam had four brothers and one sister in his family, from which he was the youngest. Kalam's ancestors were wealthy traders and landowners and had vast land and property tracts. But with time, their business of ferrying pilgrims and trading groceries suffered huge losses due to the Pamban Bridge's opening. As a result, Kalam's family had become inadequate and struggled hard to make a living. At a tender age, Kalam had to sell newspapers to supplement his family income.

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam's Biography - Educational Background of Kalam

Although Kalam had average grades in school, he was very hard working and had an immense desire to learn. He spent a lot of time studying and had developed a particular interest in mathematics. Kalam left Schwartz higher secondary school after completing his early education and went to Saint Joseph's College, Tiruchirapalli. From Saint Joseph's College, he graduated in physics in 1954. He moved to Madras in 1955 to study aerospace engineering at Madras Institute of Technology.

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam's Biography - Kalam as a Scientist

Kalam joined as a scientist in the aeronautical development establishment of DRDO in 1960, after graduation. His career started with him designing a small hovercraft. However, he was not convinced by his choice of a job at the DRDO. Kalam was transferred to ISRO in 1969, where he was the project director of India's first satellite vehicle launch. The satellite vehicle deployed the Rohini satellite successfully in near-Earth orbit in July 1980. Kalam received the Government's LV and Slv projects between the 1970s-90s. He directed two projects like Project Devil and Project Valiant, which aimed at developing ballistic missiles from the successful SLV program's technology Kalam somehow convinced Indira Gandhi and sought secret funds for these aerospace projects. His research and immense knowledge brought him and the nation great laurels in the 1980s.

Kalam then went on to become the scientific advisor of the defence minister in 1992 and served at the same post for five years before getting promoted to the post of principal scientific advisor to the government. His immense role in the country's 1998 nuclear weapons tests solidified India as a nuclear power. Kamal had now become a national hero, to be remembered for ages to come. However, the tests he conducted caused a huge uproar in the international community. Kamal put forward a nationwide plan called Technology Vision 2020, which according to him, was a fantastic way for transforming the stature of India in 20 years, taking it from a developing to a developed nation. The plan envisioned the progress of the nation by adopting advanced technology, expanding healthcare facilities, and emphasizing the education of the masses.

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam's Biography -Kalam as the 11th President of India 

Sir Kalam was entitled to be the 11th president of India. His term period of 25th July 2002 to 25th July 2007 was achieved by winning a presidential election in 2002 with a massive margin of votes. National Democratic Alliances’ nominated him to be president and it was supported by Samajwadi Party and National Congress Party. He was lovingly called as peoples’ president as he had done uncountable works for the welfare of the people and through the entire country.

He was brave and courageous enough to take decisions and implement them no matter if that was tough or sensitive or highly controversial. The “office of profit” is perhaps the hard Act that he had to sign. The “office of profit”, according to the English Act of Settlement in 1701 explains that no single individual who has a professional set up under the royal family, who has some kind of provision with or who is taking a pension from the prince has the right to work for the of the “House of Commons”. This will allow the royal family to have zero influence on the administrative conditions.

He had also become one of the most talked-about presidents Rule in 2005 for imposing the Presidents’ rule in Bihar. Kalam expressed his wish to take up the position one more time but then later changed his mind.

After taking farewell from the office, he shifted and commenced his career as a visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Management in Shillong. He served as an Aerospace Engineering professor at Anna University, Tamil Nadu. He also lit up educational institutions like the Indian Institute of Indore, Indian Institute of Bangalore with his presence and knowledge. Sir Kalam served as chancellor Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram.

In 2012, he introduced a program called “What Can I Give?” focusing on the theme of eradicating corruption from the country.

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam's Biography - The Demise of Abdul Kalam

Abdul Kalam was a mortal human being just like us, but for his contribution to the country he remained immortal in the hearts of people. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was one such personality who died at 83. It was shocking news for the entire country as a pure soul left us forever. Abdul Kalam while delivering a speech for the youth in an event at IIM Shillong. During the middle of the speech, he suffered from a cardiac arrest and collapsed. Although he got admitted to the best hospital in Shillong, the doctors could not save him.

Then his body was airlifted to Gugati, and from there, it was taken to New Delhi in an Airforce plane. Their President, vice president, and some other leaders prayed for his soul. His body was then covered in the Indian National flag and brought to his hometown. About 35000 people attended his funeral event and prayed for such a great soul.

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam's Biography - Writings of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

Dr. Abdul Kalam was a person who was not only a great political leader but also a good teacher and a writer. He had many delicate qualities and visionaries. He always had an excellent dream for the country's development and realized that the youth can bring revolution. During his university career, he inspired many of the students through his inspirational speech and tremendous visionaries. Apart from this, Dr. Kalam was a great writer. He has written several books, which are mainly meant for the nation's empowerment. His creation of India 2020 was like a gift for us, and he had all the strategies to make India a Superpower. In this book, he had primarily focused on some factors like food and development in the Agriculture sector, improved health care facilities, advanced information and communication system, good infrastructure, sufficiency in electricity production, Self-reliance in some advanced technologies.

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam's Biography - Achievements of Abdul Kalam

Abdul Kalam was a person of a golden heart who has received ample awards and achieved many things during his life journey. In 1981 Abdul Kalam received the prestigious Padma Bhushan award. In 1990 he received the Padma Bhushan award. The renowned personality, because of his tremendous effort towards the nation, received the Bharat Ratna in 1997. In the same year, he was awarded the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration. The government of India awarded Kalam with the Veer Savarkar award in 1998. Because of his contribution to arts, science, and technology, he received the SASTRA Ramanujan prize in 2000. Finally, in the year 2013, the eminent personality was bestowed with the Von Braun Award by the National Space Society.

Abdul Kalam’s Profession

APJ Abdul Kalam

APJ Abdul Kalam

This complex persona was a notable researcher displaying huge and unending science and mechanical innovative work. It was he who made our country atomic in its most genuine sense. It was in the year 1974, under the oversight of Dr. Kalam, that India went through its most memorable atomic test. Next came the Pokhran - II in the year 1988. It was through these atomic tests Dr. Kalam showed the world India's situation and power in atomic innovation.

Abdul kalam’s Grants and Accomplishments 

His works granted him three great honours from the Govt. of India specifically Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, and the Bharat Ratna. In the year 1997, Kalam was likewise granted the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration. He was granted the Veer Savarkar Award in the year 1980 and the Ramanujan Award in the year 2000. From 40 colleges all over the world, Kalam got privileged doctorates.

Kalam’s Works and Motivation

He was the writer of various motivational books like "India 2010", "Touched off Minds", "Mission India", "The Luminous Sparks", "Wings of Fire", and "Moving Thoughts".

His life, work, and convictions are loaded up with models and motivations. He will keep on inspiring us for eternity. Furthermore, this is the genuine justification for why individuals from every one of the segments of the general public precipitously show love for this incredible person on his miserable end at IIM Shillong on 27th July 2015.

May this Noble and faithful Soul find happiness in the hereafter!

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam's Biography - Some Interesting Facts 

Let us now study some interesting facts about Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam:

  1. His full name was Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam. 

  2. He was born in a Tamil Muslim Family. 

  3. Kalam was a vegeterian. In his words “I was forced to become a vegetarian due to financial constraints, but I eventually came to enjoy it.” Today, I am a complete vegetarian”

  4. He was India’s ‘first bachelor President.

  5. He was very popular among children. 

  6. Kalam’s autobiography ‘Wings of Fire was initially published in English Language but then later published in 13 other languages. 

Although the life of Abdul Kalam was filled with struggles and hardships, he rose above the adversaries to become one of the greatest scientists of modern India. His role in nation-building will be remembered till posterity.


Abdul Kalam was elected as the eleventh president of India in 2002 with the assistance of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the then-competition Indian National Congress. He is widely referred to as the "People's President". He spent four decades as a scientist and science administrator, especially on the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and became concerned with India's civilian space program and army missile improvement efforts.

Abdul Kalam lowered back to his civilian lifestyle of schooling, writing, and public career after a single term. He received Bharat Ratna for his prestigious work.

FAQs on Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam Biography

1. Why is Abdul kalam known as the Missile man of India?

Being the largest democratic country globally, India did not have the right image in front of the world. As our country did not have any ballistic missiles or nuclear missiles, it was like a weaker country. 

Abdul Kalam had a different thought in his mind, and he was the only person who tried to bring revolution to the country through modern and advanced defence power. As a scientist, he encouraged other scientists of ISRO and DRDO and developed some powerful ballistic missiles with indigenous technology. E also talked with the prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi, and arranged some secret funds, which was very much useful for running such crucial projects. However, Kalam was first tied to empower India and created a strong image in front of the world. So Kalam is famous as the Missile man of India.

2. How Abdul Kalam became the President of India?

As a professor, Kalam used to spend some happy moments with students and other professors at Anna University. He loved teaching students something interesting with tremendous enthusiasm. Although the classroom's strength was sixty every day, around 350 youths gathered in his classroom to listen to a great professor's inspiring lecture. There was nothing unusual with that; he only used to understand a dynamic youth's mind and expressed his emotions through lectures. He used to emphasize his vision of modernizing the country and social transformation. He was assigned to teach ten lessons to the postgraduate students, and in the ninth lecture, he gave the example of several case studies. This was the most crucial period of his political career. The university's VC informed that he was receiving many calls, and many of the people wanted to talk. 

Then he received a call from the Prime minister of India, and he was shocked to listen to the news that many of the party leaders and the nation want him as the President of India. He did not control his emotion during that time as many pictures came to his mind like he was teaching inside the classroom and addressing inside the Parliament. This news became viral Abdul Kalam as a presidential candidate. Finally, Abdul Kalam won the presidential election and became the PresidentPresident of India's largest democratic country.

3. Why Abdul Kalam is renowned as the Youth Icon?

Dr. Abdul Kalam was the person who brought a revolution in the country in the field of Science, technology, aerospace, and Missile technology. He was the person who witnessed the nuclear test of India twice. He played a crucial role in the advancement of DRDO and ISRO. He was also on the advisory committee of the Defence minister. Coming from a low-income family, he had shown his mission and visionaries for the country's modernization. He also became the PresidentPresident of the country once and presented his thoughts and developed many indigenous ballistic missiles. Besides this, he was like an inspiration among youth and changed many students' motto as a professor. People are mad to listen to his inspirational words. All these god gifted qualities made him a youth icon.

4. What is the “Wings of Fire” all about?

Wings of Fire is an autobiography written by our beloved late President Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam. The book narrates the story of Sir Kalam through an extremely inspirational path. It clearly showcases the struggles he had to go through, the discrimination he had to face, the resilience and persistence he kept alive, the achievements he had made, and the dreams that had in him which let him fly high. The book is divided into 3 sections. The first section talks about his childhood and youth life. He was born to a financially humble family, but the members including his parents had good vision and heart. With much struggle, he completed his studies and first joined as a trainer in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Sir also mentions the people who helped the young Kalam to transform himself into a person who influences millions of people. 

The second section, called creation, explains his seventeen years of work-life and propitiation, which is the third section, travels the journey of a scientist to the “missile man of India”. 

5. What were the 5 ways in which Dr. Kalam wanted to change India?

The five ways in which Dr. Kalam wanted to change India are the following: 

  • What I Can Give Movement: This Movement was launched by A.P.J Abdul Kalam in order to spread awareness and understanding among the Indian youth about the danger of corruption and defeat it. The central theme is also the same. This notion was introduced to youngsters with an aim of creating change in their mindset from “greed” to what can be given from their side for societies’ benefit.

  • Billion Beats: Billion Beats is an e-paper that was founded by Dr. Kalam in 2007. It got circulated for a while and later got converted into a Facebook page. This digital platform page was used by him as a medium to share his interactions with achievers and their triumphs. 

  • India Vision 2020: Composed by the Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council, this plan was primarily a document, when Kalam sir was the chairman. But later, this significant transition project is elaborately explained in his book, wherein he identifies agriculture, infrastructure, education and healthcare, information and communication technologies and so on to be some of the core areas that should be concentrated to improve the GDP rate.

  • Pura: Aiming to build economic opportunities outside the cities and promote different migration from urban to rural, the Provision of Urban Amenities to Rural Areas was developed. 

  • Igniting Minds: This program acts as a bridge that connects about I lakh students to scientists, technicians and other leaders to make the learning of science much more exciting. The project is named after his successful book. 

6. Where did Abdul Kalam live as a child?

Abdul Kalam was born in a centre-magnificence Tamil circle of relatives in the island town of Rameswaram inside the country of Madras. His father, Jainulabdeen possessed notable innate wisdom. His mother, Ashiama turned into an ideal helpmate of his father. They lived in their ancestral pucca residence, located on mosque street in Rameswaram.

7. What do APJ Abdul Kalam do?

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam became the previous President of India and was referred to as Indian scientists. He was additionally related to India's Space and Missile Development Program, hence called Missile Man of India. Take this quiz on Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to recognize more approximately him. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam's complete name is Avul PakirJainulabdeen Abdul Kalam.

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam become born on 15 October 1931, to a Tamil Muslim own family in the pilgrimage centre of Rameswaram on Pamban Island, then in the Madras Presidency and now in the State of Tamil Nadu. 

8. Why is APJ Abdul Kalam referred to as the Missile Man of India?

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam became an outstanding Indian scientist who served as the eleventh President of India from 2002 to 2007. Renowned for his pivotal role within the state’s civilian area program and army missile development, he was referred to as the Missile Man of India.