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Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam is his full name. APJ Abdul Kalam born on October 15, 1931 in a small village in Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu. His father Jainulabdeen was a boat owner and imam of a local mosque, his mother Ashiamma was a housewife.
In his school days, Kalam had average grades but was described as a bright and hardworking student who had a strong desire to learn. Mathematics was his main interest. Kalam did his school education at the Schwartz Higher Secondary School and went on to attend Saint Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli from where he graduated in physics in 1954. He specialized in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology.
APJ Abdul Kalam belonged to a poor and humble background and his desire to contribute to society never faded from his vision.
4 Life as a scientist
Dr. Kalam joined the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as a scientist. In 1969, Dr. Kalam was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) where he was the project director of India's first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed the Rohini Satellite in near-earth orbit in July 1980.
5 Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam is known as people's president and 'missile man of India'.
After working for two decades in ISRO and mastering launch vehicle technologies, Dr. Kalam took up the responsibility of developing Indigenous Guided Missiles at DRDO as the Chief Executive of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).
He was responsible for the development and operationalisation of AGNI and PRITHVI Missiles and for building indigenous capability in critical technologies through networking of multiple institutions. He was the Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development from July 1992 to December 1999.It is no surprise that Dr. Kalam was known as India's Missile Man.
Dr. Kalam's contribution to the scientific world was immense, yet he was always modest about his achievements.
7 Kalam The Statesman
Dr. Kalam was elected as 11th President of India in July, 2002. As President, he shared his vision for India, addressing youth and old with the same passion which formed his entire life. Dr. Kalam was passionate for transforming society through technology especially in inspiring the youth of India to harness Science and Technology for human welfare.
8 Kalam The Teacher
Dr. Kalam, inspite of his achievements, always wanted to be remembered as a teacher. And it was as a teacher addressing a gathering at IIM Shillong that he breathed his last on the evening of July 27, 2015.