New Delhi: Former President A P J Abdul Kalam today died in a Shillong hospital following a sudden illness.
The former President collapsed during a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management here at around 6.30pm and was taken to the hospital.
Kalam, a lifelong scientist, was born on 15th October 1931 at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu. He played vital role in India's 1998 nuclear weapons tests and in July 2002, he became country's 11th President.
Kalam came from a family whose financial condition was very bad. He started working at an early age to contribute his family's income. After completing school, Kalam distributed newspapers to financially help his family. He graduated from Saint Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli in 1954 and enrolled at the Madras Institute of Technology (MIT). After completing specialization in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology, Kalam took up the position of chief scientist at the Aeronautical Development Establishment of Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). He wanted to become a fighter pilot but he placed ninth in qualifiers and only eight positions were available in the Indian Air Force (IAF).