A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is famously known as Missile Man of India for his efforts in the development of missiles such as Ballistic Missile. He was the 11th president of India (2002-07). He was born in Tamil Nadu and studied Physics and Aerospace & Rocket Engineering.

Abdul Kalam served his nation as a scientist in DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) and ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation). He also played a very crucial role in Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998.

Early Life

Abdul Kalam’s full name was Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam. He was born on 15th October 1931 in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. Kalam was the youngest of all his brothers and sisters. During childhood, Kalam had faced immense poverty. Thus, he used to distribute newspaper, early morning to support his family.

Kalam also focused on his studies and he used to devote many hours in learning concepts under the kerosene lamp. In school, Kalam was an average student but had strong desire to learn. Some of his teachers realized a good potential in him and helped him to move forward efficiently.

He completed his school education from Schwartz Higher Secondary School, Ramanathapuram. Then, completed his graduation in Physics from University of Madras. He had a strong urge to become a pilot but during selection he was out just by one rank.


Initially, Kalam became the member of DRDS (Defence Research & Development Service). In 1969, Kalam was transferred to ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization). There, he bestowed India’s first satellite launch vehicle (SLV-III) as a Project Director.

He also showed his initiative to grow PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) and SLV-III projects which eventually gave successful result.


  • In 1989, he received Padma Bhushan.
  • He was honored by Padama Vibhushan in 1990 for his remarkable work in ISRO and DRDO.
  • In 1997, he also received Bharat Ratna for his work regarding the development of defense technology.
  • More importantly, honoured by Von Braun Award from the National Space Society in 2013 to appreciate his contribution in the leadership of a space-related project.
  • Kalam had received 7 honorary awards from 40 Universities.
  • In 2002, he became the 11th president of India.
  • He played major role in DRDO and ISRO.
  • Also, worked on SLV-III as a Project Manager.


There are number of books by Abdul Kalam through which he conveyed his thoughts. Some of his books are:

Target 3 billion

This book focuses on the conditions of rural areas and how to provide them appropriate living conditions. He specified some of the development projects such as PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas). It can improve livelihood of rural areas.

Ignited Minds

Ignited minds puts some lights on the hidden potential of youths and how they can influence the development of nation. Abdul Kalam motivated children to gain leadership qualities and to move forward. In this book, he advised children to explore the world and start moving towards their goals without any fear.

India 2020

India 2020 is the vision to make India, a developed and  the prosper country. In this book, Kalam mentioned unique qualities and resources of India. He elaborated India as a magnificent country which needs attention at specific areas mainly in poverty and technology.

Wings Of Fire

Wings of Fire  is the auto-biography of Abdul Kalam. In this book, he mentioned about his struggles and how his endeavors led him to shape his life. He also mentioned his space, missile and rocket programs.

Turning Points

Turning Points is also the auto-biography of Abdul Kalam which is the sequel of Wings of Fire. In this, he mentioned about his presidency time period. He described his dreams and vision.

My Journey: Transforming Dreams into Actions

My Journey comprises of experiences and events happened with Abdul Kalam. In this book, he wrote about the behavior of his father and sacrifices of his mother. He also explained about his best friend and some of his teachers who embarked their presence in his life.

Last Day

 On 27th July 2015, Abdul Kalam fell down while he was delivering lecture at Indian Institute of Management, Shillong. He was rushed to the hospital but doctors reported him dead due to cardiac arrest.

At the last time, he asked his assistant ” All fit”.

On 30th July 2015, all rituals were performed and lakhs of people attended the last rites including Prime Minister, Narender Modi.


Through series of hard work, Abdul Kalam built himself to gain the title of Missile Man of India. He couldn’t achieve his dream goal that being a pilot but where he landed he gave his best.

He helped us in the development of missile technology. He never lose hope and keep on working hard even when the times were rough. In childhood, he had faced poverty and even at that time he understood his responsibilities. He used to wake up early morning so that he could attend his tuition classes and could distribute newspaper to earn money.

His inventions and amount of hard work he showed was remarkable. After his presidency tenure, he devoted his life in instructing students. He visited many schools and colleges to address students and make them realize their true potential. Also, he wrote many books to express what he felt about the country, children and students.

Image source: Internet

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