The late Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was a paragon of knowledge, decency, statesmanship, patriotism, glory, and inspiration. While he may no longer be with us, his name and deeds continue to inspire tens of thousands of young people worldwide.

abdul kalam family tree

Abdul Kalam family tree

Dr. Kalam was widely regarded as a polymath, having made significant contributions to the fields of science, technology, and politics throughout his illustrious career. He was a true visionary and an excellent leader who was always ready to serve his country with all his heart.

His unwavering commitment to his homeland and his tireless efforts to promote education and innovation have made him an icon in India and beyond. Dr. Kalam was a man of great humility, kindness, and integrity, who treated everyone with respect and dignity.[1]wikibio

His legacy has inspired a new generation of young people to follow in his footsteps, to pursue their dreams, and to make a positive impact on the world. His words and deeds continue to resonate with people of all ages and backgrounds, and his name will forever be synonymous with excellence and achievement.

abdul kalam family

abdul kalam family

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The life of Abdul Kalam: A Brief Overview

Abdul Kalam was born to Jainulabiddin Marakayar, an imam in a local mosque, and Ashiamma Jainulabiddin, a housewife. He grew up with three brothers – Kasim Mohammed, Mohammed Muthu Meera Lebbai Maraikayar, Mustafa Kamal – and an elder sister named Asim Zohra.

After completing his studies at the Madras Institute of Technology, Kalam joined the Aeronautical Development Establishment, a lab under the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), where he played a pivotal role in designing a small hovercraft. He was also a member of the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR), headed by the renowned Indian space scientist, Vikram Sarabhai.

APJ Abdul Kalam

APJ Abdul Kalam

From July 1992 to December 1999, Kalam served as the principal scientific adviser to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of DRDO. During the Pokhran II nuclear test in 1999, he was appointed as the Chief Project Coordinator, along with Rajagopala Chidambaram.

In 2002, Kalam was nominated as the presidential candidate by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and was supported by the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). He won the majority of the votes, securing 89% of the total votes, defeating his opponent, Lakshmi Sahgal, a radical during the Indian Independence Movement and a former Army officer. On 25th July 2002, Kalam was sworn in as the 11th President of India.

Abdul Kalam was a multifaceted personality who made invaluable contributions to the fields of science, technology, and politics. His unwavering commitment to serving his country and promoting education has left an indelible mark on the world. His life serves as an inspiration to many, and his legacy continues to resonate with people from all walks of life.

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Abdul Kalam: Career

After receiving his degree in engineering from the Madras Institute of Technology in 1960, Abdul Kalam joined the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (by the Press Information Bureau, Government of India) as a scientist.

Abdul Kalam With MIT Batchmates And Teachers

Abdul Kalam With MIT Batchmates And Teachers (Source: Deccanchronicle)

He then went on to become a member of the Defence Research & Development Service (DRDS). He began his career by designing a small hovercraft, but he was not satisfied with his decision to work at DRDO. Kalam was a member of the INCOSPAR committee and worked under the renowned space scientist Vikram Sarabhai. In 1969, Kalam was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), where he served as the project director of India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III). This vehicle successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in near-earth orbit in July

In 1963 and 1964, he went to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Between the decades of the 1970s and 1990s, Kalam worked on the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and SLV-III projects, both of which were ultimately successful.

Even though Kalam had not been involved in the creation of TBRL, Raja Ramanna requested him to attend the nation’s first nuclear test, which was called Smiling Buddha. He was asked to do so in his capacity as the ambassador of TBRL. In the 1970s, Kalam also directed two projects called Project Devil and Project Valiant, both of which aimed to develop ballistic missiles based on the technology of the successful SLV programme.

Dr. APJ Abdul, The Missile Man Of India

Dr. APJ Abdul, The Missile Man Of India

Despite the disapproval of the Union Cabinet, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi allotted secret funds for these aerospace projects through her discretionary powers under Kalam’s directorship. Kalam played an integral role convincing the Union Cabinet to conceal the true nature of these classified aerospatial projects.

Between the months of July 1992 and December 1999, Kalam held the positions of Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister as well as Secretary of the Defence Research and Development Organization. During this time period, he had an active part in both politics and technology, and it was during this time that the Pokhran-II nuclear tests were carried out.

During the testing phase, Kalam functioned as the Chief Project Coordinator alongside Rajagopala Chidambaram. The extensive media coverage that Kalam received during this time period established him as the most well-known nuclear scientist in the country.

In 1998, Dr. Kalam collaborated with cardiologist Soma Raju to design a low-cost coronary stent that they dubbed the “Kalam-Raju Stent.” In 2012, the pair designed a rugged tablet computer for use in health care in rural areas and dubbed it the “Kalam-Raju Tablet.” Both of these inventions were named after Dr. Kalam.

Abdul Kalam: Legacy of Honors and Achievements

Abdul Kalam was a man of many talents and accomplishments. His contributions to science, technology, and the development of India earned him numerous awards and accolades throughout his lifetime. In 1981, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian honors. In 1990, he received the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award in the country, and in 1997, he was honored with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award.[2]wikipedia

abdul kalam bharat ratna

Abdul Kalam Bharat Ratna

Kalam was also recognized internationally for his achievements. In 2007, he was awarded the King Charles II Medal by Britain’s Royal Society. The following year, he received the Hoover Medal from the ASME Foundation in the United States. In 2013, the National Space Society in the United States honored him with the Von Braun Award.[3]aspiringyouths

NSS Chairman Mark Hopkins Honors Dr. Kalam with Prestigious Von Braun Award

NSS Chairman Mark Hopkins Honors Dr. Kalam with Prestigious Von Braun Award (Source: Aspiringyouths)

After his passing, Kalam was honored in various ways. The Uttar Pradesh Technical University was renamed A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Technical University in his honor, as was the Kerala Technological University. In September 2015, Wheeler Island, a missile test site in Odisha, was renamed Abdul Kalam Island to commemorate his legacy. Additionally, a famous road in New Delhi was renamed Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Road.

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Road In New Delhi

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Road In New Delhi

Despite his many achievements, Kalam lived a simple life. He owned only a few possessions, including 2,500 books, a wristwatch, a Veena, a CD player, a laptop, 6 shirts, 3 suits, 4 pants, a pair of shoes, his ancestral house, and a small plot of land near his home in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu.

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam Memorial was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam Memorial was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017

On July 27, 2015, Kalam passed away while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management in Shillong. He had flown there to speak and had experienced some unease while climbing the stairs to the lecture hall. Though he had recovered after resting on the plane, he collapsed while speaking and was rushed to a local hospital. Despite being placed in intensive care, he passed away at 7:45 pm due to a cardiac arrest.

Abdul Kalam passes away

Abdul Kalam passes away

Some Unknown Facts About Abdul Kalam

  • During his childhood, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam aided his father’s meager income by vending newspapers to provide for his family’s sustenance. Eventually, he ascended to the presidency of India, making him its 14th leader.
  • Kalam was a protégé of the eminent Indian scientist Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, who acted as his mentor and guided him along the way.
  • Despite his blunder during a failed test at ISRO, Kalam never evaded public scrutiny and acknowledged his mistakes. Conversely, he never took credit for the corporation’s notable achievements.
  • He was the foremost individual who had never wed to hold the office of president or inhabit Rashtrapati Bhawan.
  • Prior to being elected president, Kalam had already earned the prestigious Bharat Ratna award, which placed him third among all recipients.
  • It was widely known that he authored his own thank-you notes, accompanied by personalized comments inscribed in his own handwriting.
  • He regularly recited a couplet from the timeless text Thirukkural, renowned for its classic assortment of couplets or kurals.
  • Kalam composed verses in Tamil, his mother tongue, and harbored an ardent interest in literature.
  • In addition to being a devoted Muslim, he demonstrated astute familiarity with Hindu practices and studied the Bhagavad Gita.
  • Despite having over a million followers on Twitter, he only followed 38 users.

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