Shri Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen or APJ Abdul Kalam is one of the most inspirational leaders the country has witnessed. He served as the President of India for the term 2002-2007. Before this, he was the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and a Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) scientist.

The impeccable leader died on July 27, 2015 while delivering a lecture at IIM Shillong on ‘Creating a Liveable Planet. The cause of the death is believed to be a sudden cardiac arrest. 

Also Read: APJ Abdul Kalam’s contribution in making India a member of space club: 5 points

Today, on his 6th death anniversary, here are some facts about the great leader, scientists, and the pride of our nation, APJ Abdul Kalam that all generations should know.

He started by selling newspaper

Born in Tamil Nadu’s Rameswaram, started selling newspapers with his father at the age of 10. For this purpose, he used to go to Rameswaram Road Railway station to collect the papers. Due to war conditions, the train that carried newspapers,  the Madras Dhanushkodi Mail, would pass through the station without stopping so the bundles were thrown from the running train and Kalam used to collect it from there.

Also Read: APJ Abdul Kalam’s family on why he chose to stay single

He wanted to become an airforce pilot 

For APJ Abdul Kalam, serving the nation by becoming an airforce pilot was the first dream. He even got the ninth spot on the list among 25 candidates for the training but was not recruited as the number of openings was just 8. What followed is history.

He was also a writer

Kalam was also a passionate writer. He authored close to 18 books, 22 poems, and four songs during his lifetime. His autobiography, Wings of Fire is one of the bestselling books in India and has received tremendous love at a global level.

Also Read: Five books by APJ Abdul Kalam that every Indian must read

He visited NASA

While Kalam was undoubtedly the star scientist of ISRO, many do not know that he visited NASA once. He visited NASA in 1963 after which he went on to develop Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and SLV-III projects, both of which proved to be successful.

Also Read: How ‘India’s missile man’, APJ Abdul Kalam, catapulted India in the space race

His continuous success with ballistic missiles and launch vehicle technology earned him the title of ‘Missile Man of India.’

He played a role in India’s nuclear success

Before becoming the President of India, Kalam served as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister from 1992-1999. The Pokhran-II nuclear tests, which were conducted during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, were conducted under his intensive guidance.