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Life History of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

Life History of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

Abdul Kalam is one of the greatest aerospace scientists from India. He is also a politician and was born on October 15, 1931. This great man was born and raised in a city in Tamil Nadu known as Rameswaram.

Family History

Abdul Kalam’s father’s name was Jainulabdeen. He was a boat owner and the imam o their local mosque. His mother’s name was Ashiamma, and she was a housewife.

He was born to the daily of five siblings and he was the youngest. The eldest child of the family was a sister named Asim Zohra with three other brothers named Mohammed Muthu Meera Lebbai Maraikayar, Mustafa Kalam, and Kasim Mohammed.

Abdul Kalam was very close to all his family members and always looked out for all of them and remained a bachelor throughout his lifetime.

Abdul Kalam ancestors were known for their trading and they had many properties and large areas of land under their names. They are also known for trading groceries between the mainland and the Pamban Island.

Therefore, they were given the title Marakier. In the 1920s, Abdul Kalam’s ancestor business failed and they lost all their fortune.

And when he was born, the family was in a poverty-stricken stage. Abdul Kalam started helping his family by selling newspapers at a very early stage of his life.


Abdul Kalam had average grades during his school days but was often described by his teachers as a very brilliant and hardworking student.

He had a very strong desire for learning and he loved studying mathematics. Abdul Kalam went to Schwartz Higher Secondary School, Ramanathapuram.

He later attended Saint Joseph’s College where he became a physics graduate. He studied aerospace engineering at Madras Institute of Technology in 1955 and earned his degree in aeronautical engineering.

When he was in his third year of graduation, Abdul Kalam was given a project where he was asked to design a low-level attack aircraft with some of the students in his department.

Their teacher gave them a deadline for completing the project, which was very difficult to achieve. But Kalam worked hard under immense pressure and completed his project within that deadline.

The teacher was impressed by the dedication of Kalam and commended him for his dedication, hard work, and bravery.


Kalam made his way into the Defence Research and Development Organization 1958 and joined the  Indian Space Research Organization in 1969.

Abdul Kalam rejoined Defence Research and Development Organization in 1982, and he was in the Indian weapon program and the Indian Space Research Organization. If you are not comfortable in English, you can read Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam life story in Hindi.

Abdul Kalam was known to be very active in Indian’s civilian space program and involved in many successful military missile development efforts.

This was what gave him the nickname “Missle Man”. This success includes Agni, which was Indian”s first intermediate-range ballistic missile. This project was an incorporated part of the SLV-III and was launched in 1989.


Abdul Kalam was not satisfied with his work at the DRDO and was happy when he was transferred to the ISRO in 1969. He was the project director of the SLV-III, which is the first satellite launch vehicle that was both designed and produced in India.

He later received the approval of the government of India in 1969 to expand the program so as to include other engineers. Kalam made an effort to develop the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle in the 1970s.

This is because it will allow India to be able to launch its India Remote Sensing Satellite into Sun-Synchronous orbit. The project was later successful and was first launched on September 20, 1993.

Abdul Kalam returned to the DRDO in 1983 and became the Chief Executive of IGMDP in 1983. He also developed four projects.

These projects include the Short-range low-level surface-to-air missile (Trishul), Short-range surface-to-surface missile (Prithvi), Third-generation anti-tank missile (Nag), and Medium range surface-to-air missile (Akash).

When Kalam was the leader of the IGMDP, the organization project was successful and produced missiles such as the first Prithvi missile in 1988 and many more.

He was appointed as the Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister in 1992 and given the rank of a cabinet minister.

Abdul Kalam was also appointed as the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India in 1999.

In May 1998, he played a great role while conducting the Pokhran-II, which is a series of five nuclear bomb test explosions. Because of the success of this test, Kalam was given the status of a national hero.

The then prime minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee also declared the country a full-fledged nuclear state because of this great success.

In 1998, Kalam also proposed a great plan which is called the Technolgy vision 2020. This plan is to make India a fully developed country by 2020. He also gives suggestions on various technological innovations, nuclear empowerment, how to improve agricultural productivity, and many more.

Abdul Kalam also received the prestigious Bharat Ratna. He was the third president to receive the highest civilian honor after Dr. Sarvapali Radhakrishnan in 1954, and  Dr. Zakir Hussain in 1963.

Political career

The National Democratic Alliance was ruling the country in 2002 and decided to nominate Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to run for the post of president of the country.

Because he was a very popular and great man, Kalam won the election and became the 11th president of the country from 2002 to 2007. He was the first scientist and the first bachelor to become a president.

During his term as a president, he was committed to his vision and mission of transforming India into a fully developed country. And he decided not to contest again after his term ended.

Life post-presidency

Abdul kalam decided to go into the academic field after leaving the office. He became a visiting professor in many institutes in India.

They include the Indian Institute of Management Shilong, an honorary fellow of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, and many others.

He was the chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology Thiruvananthapuram.

He was a professor of Aerospace Engineering at Anna University. He was also an adjunct at many research institutions across India.


While delivering a lecture at IIM Shilong on the 27th of July 2015, Kalam suffered a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital.

His condition became critical and was later moved to Bethany Hospital. He later died of cardiac arrest.

Abdul Kalm was buried on the 30th of July 2015 at Rameshwaram’s Pei Kaumbu Ground.

The prime minister of the country, the governor of Tamil Nadu, and other great officials were present at his burial.

Abdul Kalam Memorial

In the island town of Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, a  memorial was built in the memory of Abdul Kalam at the Pei Karumba.

The memorial was inaugurated on the 27th of July 2017 by Narendra Modi, the president of India,


Awesome Gyani
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