On the evening of 27th July, 2015, the republic nation of India lost probably its greatest president ever. Single handedly responsible for ushering in an era of technology and most importantly, science; Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam completely deserved the honorary title, “Missile Man of India”, and then some.
Born into a poor but dignified life, Kalam was raised collectively by a group of multi-religious backgrounds, birthing a progressive mind that would only find its true calling much later on.
5. An Artistic Bent.
Dr. Kalam, like all true men of science, had an affinity for the arts. One of his favorite hobbies was playing the Veena and writing poems in Tamil, one of the many being featured above.
4. A Solitary Life.
Dr. Kalam was a bachelor his entire life, dedicating the majority of it to research and teaching. He might have been solitary, but the love of a nation with a billion beating hearts meant he was never lonely.
Dr. Kalam worked under Vikram Sarabhai, a genius in his own right and the father of the Indian Missile Program. Genius to Genius, their relationship proved to be of immeasurable consequence for Dr. Kalam, as he recounts in his memoir, Wings of Fire.
2. High Hopes.
Dr. Kalam’s foremost ambition was to be a fighter pilot, but he didn’t make the cut as he was placed 9th whereas the Air Force only had vacancies for the first eight posts. Dr. Kalam lost that battle, but won a much greater war. Today, the Indian Air Force is equipped with the latest in missile technology, something that would be impossible if not for this man.
1. Mr. Science.
Dr. Kalam’s eminence preceded him wherever he went, leading Switzerland to honor the esteemed scientist by commemorating May 26th as Science Day.