Top Facts About APJ Abdul Kalam

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, in full Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, (born October 15, 1931, Rameswaram, India—died July 27, 2015, Shillong)

Indian scientist and politician who played a leading role in the development of India’s missile and nuclear weapons programs.

He was the president of India from 2002 to 2007.

Kalam earned a degree in aeronautical engineering from the Madras Institute of Technology and in 1958 joined the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)

In 1969 he moved to the Indian Space Research Organisation, where he was project director of the SLV-III, the first satellite launch vehicle that was both designed and produced in India.

He rejoined DRDO in 1982 and planned the program to produce a number of successful missiles, which helped earn him the nickname “Missile Man.”

From 1992 to 1997 Kalam was scientific adviser to the defense minister, and he later served as principal scientific adviser (1999–2001) to the government with the rank of cabinet minister.

He played a prominent role in the country’s 1998 nuclear weapons tests that solidified India as a nuclear power.

Kalam wrote several books, including an autobiography, Wings of Fire (1999).

He was awarded with two of the country’s highest honours, the Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the Bharat Ratna (1997).