Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Biography, Facts and Achievements

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Biography

The People’s President, Extraordinary Indian.

Biosketch of APJ Abdul Kalam

India’s ‘missile man’ APJ Abdul Kalam passed away at Bethany Hospital in Shillong (Meghalaya) on July 27,2015, dueto heart failure after having collapsed during a lecture at Indian Institute of Management (IIM-Shillong). APJ Abdul Kalam was elected as India’s 11th President in 2002. It was the role he will probably be most remembered for a President who borough Rashtrapati Bhavan to the people, earning him the tribute of the people’s President. There were also controversial decisions his response to mercy petitions from death row convicts and the imposition of President’s Rule in Bihar in 2005.

abdul kalam biography facts achievements

Abdul Kalam Early Life & Education

He was born on October 15, 1931 in Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu). His father was a boat owner. After graduated in Physics from Madras University, he went on to study Aerospace Engineering. He came from a family whose financial conditions weren’t sound enough. As a means to support his family”s meager income, Kalam took up odd jobs in his childhood but never gave up on his education. After completing school, APJ Abdul Kalam distributed newspapers to contribute to his father’s income.

Abdul Kalam Contribution as a Scientist

Kalam started his career by designing a small helicopter for the Indian Army, but remained unconvinced with the choice of his job at DRDO.

An Aeronautics Engineer from Madras, Institute of Technology, Kalam was considered the brain of missile program in India got and as Chief Scientific Adviser to Vajpayee was also instrumental in the Pokhran nuclear test in 1998. He played a key role in India’s nuclear test in 1998 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister. Kalam served as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of the Defense Research and Development Organisation from July, 1992 to December, 1999.


  • India 2020 – A Vision for the New Millennium
  • Wings of Fire – An Autobiography
  • Ignited Minds – Unleashing the Power With India
  • The Luminous Sparks
  • Mission India
  • Inspiring Thoughts
  • Indomitable Spirit
  • Envisioning an Empowered Nation
  • You are Born to Blossom – Take My Journey Beyond
  • Turning Points – A Journey Through Challenges
  • Target 3 Billion
  • My Journey Transforming Dreams into Actions
  • A Manifesto for Change (A Sequel to India 2020)
  • Forge your Future Candid, Forthright, Inspiring
  • Reignited – Scientific Pathways to a Brighter Future
  • Transcendence – My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji

Biographies on Kalam

  • Eternal Quest (S. Chandra)
  • President APJ Abdul Kalam (RK Pruthi)
  • APJ Abdul Kalam The Visionary of India (K. Bhushan, G. Katyal)
  • A Little Dream (P. Dhanapal)
  • The Kalam Effect My Years with the President (PM Nair)
  • My Days with Mahatma Abdul Kalam (AK George)

Missile Man of India

Agni It is a family of medium to intercontinental range ballistic missiles developed by India. Agni missiles are long range, nuclear weapons capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile. The two-stage Agni technology demonstrator, with a solid-fuel first stage, was first tested at the Interim Test Range in Chandipur in 1989. It was capable of carrying a conventional payload of 1000 kg or a nuclear warhead and operation range 700 to 10000 km.

Prithvi It is a tactical surface-to-surface Short-Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM) developed by DRDO of India under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP).

Dhanush is reportedly a naval version of Prithvi which can be launched from ships.

He has also been a professor of Aerospace Engineering. Kalam is the first Chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) Thiruvananthapuram.

Read More About APJ Abdul Kalam Biography

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Awards & Honors

  1. He received several prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna (1997), India’s highest civilian honor.
  2. The government has honored him with the Padma Bhushan (1981) and Padma Vibhushan (1990) for his role as a scientific adviser of the government.
  3. In 2005, Switzerland declared May 26 as ‘Science Day” to commemorate Kalam’s visit to the country.
  4. Kalam’s 79th birthday was recognized as ‘World Student Day” by the United Nations.

Some Other Honors

Doctor of Science (2014) Edinburgh University (UK)
Doctor of Laws (2012) Simon Fraser University
Honorary Membership (2011) Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers
Doctor of Engineering (2010) University of Waterloo
Honorary Doctorate (2009) Oakland University
Hoover Medal (2009) ASME Foundation (USA)
Von Karman Wings Award (2009) California Institute of Technology (USA)
Doctor of Engineering (2008) Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
Honorary Doctorate of Science and Technology (2007) Carnegie Mellon University
King Charles II Medal (2007) Royal Society (UK)
Doctorate of Science (2007) University of Wolverhamption (UK)
Ramanujan Award (2000) Alwars Research Centre (Chennai)
Veer Savar.kar Award (1998) Government of India
Indira Gandhi Award (1997) Indian National Congress
Distinguished Fellow (1994) Institute of Directors (India)

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Updated: August 29, 2016 — 6:34 pm

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