The nation on Saturday celebrated the 85th birth anniversary of India's favourite President and Missile Man Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. He was among the few Indian personalities in contemporary India who won the admiration of one and all, cutting across every section of society. Before holding the position of nation's sovereign, he was an aeronautical engineer with DRDO and ISRO. He played major role in India’s Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998. He is remembered as a champion of the poor and down trodden in society.
Here are ten things that you should know about him:
1. APJ Abdul Kalam known as the father of Indian Missile Technology, for his prominent role in India's 1998 nuclear weapons tests and launch vehicle technology.
2. Dr. Kalam received the Bharat Ratna in 1997. Along with Dr. Zakir Husain and Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, he is the third president of India to have received the award before claiming the presidential post.
3. APJ Abdul Kalam is popularly known as the People's President and was elected as India's 11th President from 2002 to 2007.
4. Kalam was nominated for Youth Icon of the Year award by MTV in 2003 and 2006. His age was 73 respectively then.
5. He was also a Veena player and religion and spirituality were very important to Kalam throughout his life.
6. APJ Abdul Kalam once said, “If you want to shine like a sun. First burn like a sun.”
7. On April 29, 2009, he became the first Asian to be bestowed the Hoover Medal, America’s top engineering prize, for his outstanding contribution to public service.
8. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam always talked about his vision of transforming India into a developed nation by 2020
9. He is also the author of the some of the best-sellers like Wings of Fire, Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power Within India and India 2020.
10. Dr Kalam succumbed to a massive cardiac arrest and died on July 27, 2015 while delivering a lecture on "Creating a Livable Planet Earth" at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong.