Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen “A. P. J.” Abdul Kalam was the 11th President of India, serving from 2002 to 2007. Kalam was born and raised in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, and studied physics and aerospace engineering.
He spent the next four decades as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and was intimately involved in India’s civilian space program and military missile development efforts.
39 Interesting facts about APJ Abdul Kalam
that will inspire you, teach you and give you an insight into the great life and simple being of “the People’s President,” APJ Kalam.
1. APJ Kalam was born on October 15, 1931 into a poor family. His father had only one boat to support his family.
2. Kalam was a hardworking boy right from the beginning. At the tender age of five, he started selling newspapers to help his father support the family. He did this job in the evenings after school. He also spent a great deal of time on his studies.
3. Kalam was fascinated by physics and mathematics.
4. Kalam completed his graduation from Saint Joseph’s College, Trichurapally in 1954. In 1955, he enrolled at the Madras Institute of Technology.
5. Kalam missed an opportunity to become a fighter pilot for the Indian Air force. He was on the ninth spot on the list, and there were only eight openings. The first eight shortlisted candidates were recruited.
6. In 1960, Kalam became involved with DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Establishment.
7. In 1969, Kalam was made the project director for Satellite Launch Vehicles and was shifted to ISRO. The project became successful, and India, under the directorship of Kalam, was able to launch the Rohini satellite series into Earth’s orbit.
8. Kalam was known as the ‘Missile Man’ of India due to his continued, successful work with ballistic missiles and launch-vehicle technology.
9. Kalam also made significant contributions to the nuclear capabilities of India. The Pokhran -2 nuclear tests (in 1998) were successful thanks to his organizational and technical support.