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APJ Abdul Kalam's Birth Anniversary: Remembering the Missile Man of India

Popularly known as the Missile Man of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam returned to his civilian life of education, writing, and service of the people after a single term in office.

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Updated:October 15, 2019, 10:36 AM IST
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APJ Abdul Kalam's Birth Anniversary: Remembering the Missile Man of India
Scientist APJ Abdul Kalam addressing press conference after testing of Agni Missile in New Delhi. (Image: Getty Images)

APJ Abdul Kalam’s Birth Anniversary | Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007, was born in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu on October 15, 1931. An aerospace scientist, who spent the majority of his life at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), APJ Abdul Kalam was intimately involved in the nation's civilian space program and military missile development efforts.

Popularly known as the Missile Man of India, Dr Kalam returned to his civilian life of education, writing, and service of the people after a single term in office. A recipient of several accolades, he also received the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour.

On the great personality's birth anniversary, here are a few interesting facts about him.

Hailing from a financially poor background, Kalam used to distribute newspapers after school hours to support his family.

After graduating from the Madras Institute of Technology, in 1960, he joined the DRDO where he designed helicopters for the Indian Army.

He was transferred to the ISRO, where he worked as the project director for SLV-III, India's first indigenious satellite launch vehicle.

It was under his leadership that India became a major military power following the success of Agni and Prithvi missiles.

His autobiography - Wings of fire - is considered to be one of the most best-selling books in India.

Dr Kalam has received honourary doctorates from 40 universities in the world.

In 2015, Switzerland declared May 26 as Science Day to commemorate Kalam's visit to the country.

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