1Father, a boat owner
His father Jainulabudeen was a boat owner and imam of a local mosque.
His father owned a ferry that took Hindu pilgrims back and forth between Rameswaram and the now uninhabited Dhanushkodi.
Kalam’s family had become poor; at an early age, he sold newspapers to supplement his family’s income.
In his school years, Kalam had average grades but was described as a bright and hardworking student who had a strong desire to learn.
5Love of math
He spent hours on his studies, especially mathematics.
While Kalam was working on a senior class project, the Dean was dissatisfied with his lack of progress and threatened to revoke his scholarship unless the project was finished within the next three days.
7Rejected for Pilot’s position
He narrowly missed achieving his dream of becoming a fighter pilot, as he placed ninth in qualifiers, and only eight positions were available in the Indian Air Force.
A career scientist turned statesman, Kalam studied physics and aerospace engineering.
9Hunger for learning
He started his career by designing a small hovercraft, but remained unconvinced by his choice of a job at DRDO.
10Life like a marathon
He spent four decades as a scientist and science administrator.
11Trusted by Leadership
Despite the disapproval of the Union Cabinet, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi allotted secret funds for aerospace projects through her discretionary powers under Kalam’s directorship.
Kalam played an integral role convincing the Union Cabinet to conceal the true nature of these classified aerospace projects.
13Advanced missile programme
His research and educational leadership brought him great laurels and prestige, which prompted the government to initiate an advanced missile programme under his directorship.
Along with cardiologist Soma Raju, Kalam developed a low cost coronary stent, named the “Kalam-Raju Stent”.
In 2012, the Soma Raju & Kalam designed a rugged tablet computer for health care in rural areas, which was named the “Kalam-Raju Tablet”
16Missile Man of India
He was known as Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology.
17Strength respects strength
He played a pivotal organisational, technical, and political role in India’s Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998.
When he was elected President, he was widely referred to as the “People’s President” during his tenure.
19Saying things with honesty
Kalam supported the need of Uniform Civil Code in India, keeping in view the population of the country.
20A simple common man
Kalam was noted for his integrity and his simple lifestyle. He never owned a television.
21Dedicated to work
He was in the habit of rising at 6:30 or 7 a.m and sleeping by 2 a.m.
22No end to education
Kalam received 7 honorary doctorates from 40 universities.
23Loved across the globe
It was reported that there was considerable demand in South Korea for translated versions of books authored by him.
24Making the next generation ready
Kalam set a target of interacting with 100,000 students during the two years after his resignation from the post of scientific adviser in 1999.
25Giving back to society
He was very committed for teaching students. He died while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong.
26Huge legacy of learning’s
His few personal possessions included his books, his veena, some articles of clothing, a CD player and a laptop.
27No place for greed
At his death, he left no will, and his possessions went to his eldest brother, who survived him.