APJ Abdul Kalam, Former President of India, Dies at 83
The prestigious scientific genius served as the country’s eleventh president
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, one of India’s most famous scientific geniuses who served as the country’s eleventh president, died of cardiovascular failure on Monday at 83 years old.
Kalam was hospitalized in the wake of breaking down during a lecture in the northeastern city of Shillong, local media station NDTV reports. He held longstanding initiative positions for India’s defense and space programs, and was chosen president with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in July of 2002.
Tributes poured in from Indian illuminators on online networking, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and incredibly famous cricket player Sachin Tendulkar:
India mourns the loss of a great scientist, a wonderful President & above all an inspiring individual. RIP Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
Former President of India, a renowned scientist, an inspiration to all, a terrific human being…RIP Dr. Abdul Kalam
Kalam told TIME in a 1998 meeting that he developed an early interest with flight while experiencing childhood with the south Indian isle of Rameshwaram. “At that point there were a great deal of winged creatures on the island,” he said, “and I used to watch their excellent flight paths. That got me inspired in aeronautics.”