APJ Abdul Kalam’s birth anniversary: His journey from being India’s missile man to becoming people’s presidenthttps://indianexpress.com/photos/india-news/apj-abdul-kalams-birth-anniversary-journey-from-indias-missile-man-to-peoples-president-5402123/

APJ Abdul Kalam’s birth anniversary: His journey from being India’s missile man to becoming people’s president

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, lovingly known as APJ Abdul Kalam, was the former president of India and is an inspiration for millions across the globe

APJ Abdul Kalam, from India’s missile man to people’s president

Born on October 15, 1931 in Tamil Nadu’s Rameswaram, Kalam graduated from Madras Institute of Technology in aeronautical engineering before going on to establish himself as one of India’s most popular scientists and recipient of the Bharat Ratna in 1997. Today marks the 87th birth anniversary of the former president. (Express archive photo)

APJ Abdul Kalam, from India’s missile man to people’s president

Popularly called the “Missile Man” of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam rose from humble beginnings and earned the reputation of being the “people’s president” who endeared himself to all all sections, especially the young. (Express photo by Prashant Nadkar)

APJ Abdul Kalam, from India’s missile man to people’s president

A son of a boatowner, Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, who assumed office as the 11th President on July 18, 2002, was seen as a figurehead who could help heal some of the scars of the communal riots which broke out in Gujarat just a few months before. (Express photo by Partha Paul)

APJ Abdul Kalam, from India’s missile man to people’s president

Kalam succeeded K R Narayanan and served a full five-year term from 2002 until 2007 after he won the Presidential elections which was a highly one-sided contest with Lakshmi Sahgal, a revolutionary of the Indian Independence movement, as his rival. He secured the backing of all political parties. In Pic: Former President Pratibha Patil flanked by former PM Manmohan Singh and A P J Abdul Kalam at the Freedom Fighters Day tea party at Rashtrapati Bhavan. (Express archive photo)

APJ Abdul Kalam, from India’s missile man to people’s president

One of the little known facts about former President A P J Abdul Kalam is that he has a medical invention to his name — a coronary stent built with missile composites that dramatically brought down the cost of heart stents from Rs 55,000 to Rs 10,000 in the mid-1990s. In Pic: A P J Abdul Kalam (left) and former Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi (right) after the special ceremonial parade of 37 and 48 Squadrons of the Indian Air Force at the Air Force Base in Bhuj. (Express archive photo)

APJ Abdul Kalam, from India’s missile man to people’s president

Dr. Abdul Kalam, who received several prestigious awards including Bharat Ratna, played a crucial role when India tested its nuclear weapons at Pokhran in 1998 when the Vajpayee government was in power. (Express archive photo)

APJ Abdul Kalam, from India’s missile man to people’s president

Dr VS Arunachalam, the scientific advisor to the defence Minister and his colleagues connected with the successful launching of 'AGNI' called on the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in New Delhi on May 27, 1989. Scientist Abdul Kalam is also seen in the picture. (Express archive photo)

APJ Abdul Kalam, from India’s missile man to people’s president

He authored several books, loved to spend time with students and engaged in lectures and seminars even during his presidency. In Pic: Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam during his sortie in a Sukhoi in Pune on June 8 2006. (Express archive photo)

APJ Abdul Kalam, from India’s missile man to people’s president

Former President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam (L) presents the outstanding parliamentarian award for the year 2000 to the member of parliament Arjun Singh (R) as the speaker of Lok Sabha Somnath Chatterjee (C) looks on during a function to confer the awards for the year 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 in the parliament house in New Delhi. (Express archive photo)

APJ Abdul Kalam, from India’s missile man to people’s president

The SLV 3, the rocket system that has gone on to become the bedrock of the Indian space programme, has been Kalam’s biggest contribution to the Indian space mission, spawning new generation launchers like the Augmented SLV, the Polar SLV and most recently the Geo synchronous SLV. In Pic: Dr. R Chidambaram (Centre) and APJ Abdul Kalam (extreme right). (Express archive photo)

APJ Abdul Kalam, from India’s missile man to people’s president

Kalam, a visiting professor at RG-IIM in Shillong collapsed while delivering a lecture to the students n the dais and later breathed his last at a hospital on July 27, 2015. (Express photo by Ramesh Nair)