39 Interesting facts about APJ Abdul Kalam

Last updated on March 16th, 2020

22. During his presidency, Kalam was so beloved that people requested that he take the office again after Pratibha Patil’s term as President. However, he politely refused.

23. Kalam is the first unmarried president and scientist in India.

24. Kalam is among only three presidents of India who were conferred the Bharat Ratna before they were elected President.

25. Kalam followed only one cricketer on his Twitter account – VVS Laxman. Kalam followed a total of 38 people on this social media account.

26. Kalam would get up at 4:00 am to take his mathematics lessons. He would also take a bath before going to class, which was a condition imposed on all the students by the teacher.

27. Kalam valued Dr. Vikram Sarabhai as his mentor. He turned to this other great scientist of Indian origin for advice and support.

28. Kalam’s first major project, SLV-3, failed, and he was shattered.

29. He was awarded the MTV Youth Icon award twice, in 2003 and 2006.

30. On his last day, he was delivering a lecture at IIM, Shillong. He was standing at the podium delivering his speech to hundreds of students when he suffered a cardiac arrest that made him fall to the floor. He always had a passion for teaching and working hard. And at the time when death captured him, he was doing what he loved.

His last picture before the cardiac arrest from IIM Shillong.

31. Kalam also acted as a scientific advisor to the government of India.

32. He donated his presidential salary to charity. He formed a trust named PURA (Providing Urban Amenities to Rural Areas), and donated his salaries to this trust when he became aware that the government takes care of its presidents.

33. He also refused to sit on special chairs during events because he was a humble man and always promoted equality.

34. Kalam was a great communicator. Once Kalam used Yahoo Answers to ask a question about terrorism. He asked, “What should we do to free our planet from terrorism?” He received more than 30,000 responses.

35. Kalam’s wish was to power the Rashtrapati Bhawan completely with solar power. However, this could not be implemented during the term of his presidency.

36. Kalam started his career as a boy selling newspapers and became the president of the world’s largest democracy. He also pursued and envisioned many things during the course of his life, transforming and inspiring millions of people both locally and globally.

37. Kalam would take the sole blame for losses and setbacks, but gave all credit to his team when they achieved anything under his leadership. Such were the qualities of the “Missile Man.”

38. He also published his autobiography, Wings of Fire, which was co-authored with Arun Tiwari. It gives a detailed account of his childhood, his personal life and career; it has been translated into 13 languages including French and Chinese.

39. And he was an avid reader and writer. He authored no less than 15 books on various topics, including nuclear physics and spiritual experiences.

These were 39 interesting facts about APJ Abdul Kalam. He was a beloved president, mentor, visionary, scientist and, above all, a very humble human being.

Books by the remarkable ex-president APJ Abdul Kalam:

  • Wings of Fire [His autobiography]
  • 2020-A Vision for the New Millennium
  • Envisioning an Empowered Nation
  • Ignited Minds
  • My Journey
  • Developments in Fluid Mechanics and Space Technology
  • The Luminous Sparks
  • The Life Tree
  • Mission India
  • Children Ask Kalam
  • Guiding Souls
  • Indomitable Spirit
  • Inspiring Thoughts

10 Inspirational Quotes by APJ Abdul Kalam:

1. “Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.”

2. “All birds find shelter during a rain. But the Eagle avoids rain by flying above the clouds.”

3. “If you want to shine like a sun, first burn like a sun.”

4. “Be more dedicated to making solid achievements than in running after swift but synthetic happiness.”

5. “Without your involvement, you can’t succeed. With your involvement, you can’t fail.”

6. “Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual. If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honor for me.”

7. “Economy forced me to become a vegetarian, but I finally started liking it.”

8. “You see, God helps only people who work hard. That principle is very clear.”

9. “No religion has mandated killing others as a requirement for its sustenance or promotion.”

10. “All of us do not have equal talent. But all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talents.”

APJ Abdul Kalam – Quick facts

Born15 October 1931, Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, India.
Died27 July 2015, Shillong, Meghalaya, India
Cause of deathCardiac arrest
Age at the time of death83 years
Field of WorkAeronautical Science, Politics, Teaching
AwardsBharat Ratna, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and many more.
ContributionsScience and Politics
Table last updatedMay 04, 2018