Biography Of Famous People

APJ Abdul Kalam

Born on 15th October 1931 at Rameswaram, in Tamil Nadu, Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, specialized in Aero Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology.

He initially worked in DRDO in 1958 and then joined ISRO in 1963. Dr. Kalam has made significant contribution to Indian satellite and launch vehicles of ISRO and also in the missile programme of DRDO. As project Director, SLV-III, he contributed for the design, development and management of India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) to inject Rohini satellite in the near earth orbit.

He was responsible for the evolution of ISRO’s launch vehicles programme and configurations. He rejoined DRDO in 1982 and conceived the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) for indigenous missiles.

He was Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development from July 1992 to December 1999.

As Chairman, Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), he generated the Technology Vision 2020 documents – a road map for transforming India from Developing India to Developed India. He provided overall guidance to a number of Homegrown Technology Projects and major technology missions such as Sugar, Advanced Composites and Fly Ash utilization.

Dr. Kalam has served as the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, in the rank of Cabinet Minister, from November 1999 to November 2001. He was primarily responsible for evolving policies, strategies and missions for generation of innovations and support systems for multiple applications. Also, generating science and technology task in strategic, economic and social sectors in partnership with Government departments, institutions and industry. Dr. Kalam was also the Chairman, Ex-officio, of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet (SAC-C).

Dr. Kalam took up academic pursuit as Professor, Technology & Societal Transformation at Anna University, Chennai and involved in teaching and research tasks. Above all he is on his mission to ignite the young minds for national development by meeting high school students across the country.

Dr. Kalam was conferred with the Degree of Doctor of Science (D.Sc. Honoris Causa) by 30 universities/academic institutions. He is recipient of several awards including the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration 1997.

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has been awarded Padma Bhushan in 1981, Padma Vibhushan in 1990 and BHARAT RATNA in 1997.

Kalpana Chawla

First Indian woman in space ...Born on 1962, in Karnal, India. Kalpana enjoyed flying, hiking, back-packing, and reading.

Kalpana completed her Graduation from Tagore School, Karnal, India, in 1976. Bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering College, India, 1982. Master of science degree in aerospace engineering from University of Texas, 1984. Doctorate of philosophy in aerospace engineering from University of Colorado, 1988.

Also she held a Certified Flight Instructor's license with airplane and glider ratings, Commercial Pilot's licenses for single- and multi-engine land and seaplanes, and Gliders, and instrument rating for airplanes. She enjoyed flying aerobatics and tail-wheel airplanes.

In 1988, Kalpana Chawla started work at NASA Ames Research Center in the area of powered-lift computational fluid dynamics. Her research concentrated on simulation of complex air flows encountered around aircraft such as the Harrier in "ground-effect."

In 1993 Kalpana Chawla joined Overset Methods Inc., Los Altos, California, as Vice President and Research Scientist to form a team with other researchers specializing in simulation of moving multiple body problems. She was responsible for development and implementation of efficient techniques to perform aerodynamic optimization.

In December 1994, she was selected by NASA and reported to the Johnson Space Center in March 1995 as an astronaut candidate in the 15th Group of Astronauts. After completing a year of training and evaluation, she was assigned as crew representative to work technical issues for the Astronaut Office EVA/Robotics and Computer Branches.

In November, 1996, Kalpana Chawla was assigned as mission specialist and prime robotic arm operator on STS-87. She flew on STS-87 (1997) and STS-107 (2003) and has logged 30 days, 14 hours and 54 minutes in space.

STS-107 Columbia (January 16 to February 1, 2003), The 16-day flight was a dedicated science and research mission. Working 24 hours a day, in two alternating shifts, the crew successfully conducted approximately 80 experiments. The STS-107 mission ended abruptly on February 1, 2003 when Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew perished during entry, 16 minutes prior to scheduled landing.

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was born at Ulm, in Württemberg, Germany, on March 14, 1879.

Six weeks later the family moved to Munich and he began his schooling there at the Luitpold Gymnasium. Later, they moved to Italy and Albert continued his education at Aarau, Switzerland.

In 1896 he entered the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich to be trained as a teacher in physics and mathematics. In 1901, the year he gained his diploma, he acquired Swiss citizenship and, as he was unable to find a teaching post, he accepted a position as technical assistant in the Swiss Patent Office. In 1905 he obtained his doctor's degree.

During his stay at the Patent Office, and in his spare time, he produced much of his remarkable work and in 1908 he was appointed Privatdozent in Berne. In 1909 he became Professor Extraordinary at Zurich, in 1911 Professor of Theoretical Physics at Prague, returning to Zurich in the following year to fill a similar post. In 1914 he was appointed Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Physical Institute and Professor in the University of Berlin. He became a German citizen in 1914 and remained in Berlin until 1933 when he renounced his citizenship for political reasons and immigrated to America to take the position of Professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton. He became a United States citizen in 1940 and retired from his post in 1945.

After World War II, Einstein was a leading figure in the World Government Movement, he was offered the Presidency of the State of Israel, which he declined, and he collaborated with Dr. Chaim Weizmann in establishing the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Einstein always appeared to have a clear view of the problems of physics and the determination to solve them. He had a strategy of his own and was able to visualize the main stages on the way to his goal. He regarded his major achievements as mere stepping-stones for the next advance.

At the start of his scientific work, Einstein realized the inadequacies of Newtonian mechanics and his special theory of relativity stemmed from an attempt to reconcile the laws of mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. He dealt with classical problems of statistical mechanics and problems in which they were merged with quantum theory: this led to an explanation of the Brownian movement of molecules. He investigated the thermal properties of light with a low radiation density and his observations laid the foundation of the photon theory of light.

In his early days in Berlin, Einstein postulated that the correct interpretation of the special theory of relativity must also furnish a theory of gravitation and in 1916 he published his paper on the general theory of relativity. During this time he also contributed to the problems of the theory of radiation and statistical mechanics.

In the 1920s, Einstein embarked on the construction of unified field theories, although he continued to work on the probabilistic interpretation of quantum theory, and he persevered with this work in America. He contributed to statistical mechanics by his development of the quantum theory of a monatomic gas and he has also accomplished valuable work in connection with atomic transition probabilities and relativistic cosmology.

After his retirement he continued to work towards the unification of the basic concepts of physics, taking the opposite approach, geometrisation, to the majority of physicists.

Einstein's researches are, of course, well chronicled and his more important works include Special Theory of Relativity (1905), Relativity (English translations, 1920 and 1950), General Theory of Relativity (1916), Investigations on Theory of Brownian Movement (1926), and The Evolution of Physics (1938). Among his non-scientific works, About Zionism (1930), Why War? (1933), My Philosophy (1934), and Out of My Later Years (1950) are perhaps the most important.

Albert Einstein received honorary doctorate degrees in science, medicine and philosophy from many European and American universities. During the 1920s he lectured in Europe, America and the Far East and he was awarded Fellowships or Memberships of all the leading scientific academies throughout the world. He gained numerous awards in recognition of his work, including the Copley Medal of the Royal Society of London in 1925, and the Franklin Medal of the Franklin Institute in 1935.

Einstein's gifts inevitably resulted in his dwelling much in intellectual solitude and, for relaxation, music played an important part in his life.

He married Mileva Maritsch in 1901 and they had two sons; their marriage was dissolved and in 1917 he married his cousin, Elsa Einstein, who died in 1936.

He died on April 18, 1955 at Princeton, New Jersey.

Dhirubhai Ambani

Born in an impoverished village, at 16 he goes off to Aden to learn business. He returns 10 years later and starts a small company. By canny trading around the textile bazaars of Bombay, he corners the market in imported polyester, starts his own factory, outwits sclerotic bureaucrats in New Delhi who are trying to run the economy by regulation, and ultimately ignites the moribund Indian stock market with his vision of turning Reliance into a petrochemical and oil refining empire-a dream he realized not long before he died.

Mohandas Gandhi and Dhirubhai Ambani were the two most famous scions of the Modh Bania, a Hindu commercial caste based in the arid Saurashtra peninsula of India's western Gujarat state.

Each changed India. Ambani's public wore his textiles as durable suits and glittery saris. Indians invested by the millions in his Bombay-listed Reliance Industries, a sprawling conglomerate with $12.3 billion in annual sales that recently became India's first privately owned entrant to the Fortune 500. When Ambani died on July 6 at age 69 after nearly two weeks in a stroke-induced coma, the country's media recounted his rags-to-riches life as an Indian morality play.

Ambani's his great achievement was that he showed Indians what was possible. With no Oxford or Yale degree and no family capital, he achieved what the Elite "brown sahibs" of New Delhi could not: he built an ultramodern, profitable, global enterprise in India itself. What's more, he enlisted four million Indians, a generation weaned on nanny-state socialism, in an adventure in can-do capitalism, convincing them to load up on Reliance stock.

Still, Ambani seems destined to be remembered as a folk hero-an example of what a man from one of India's poor villages can accomplish with non-shrink ambition.

Bill Gates

Born on October 28, 1955, Gates and his two sisters grew up in Seattle. Their father, William H. Gates II, is a Seattle attorney. Their late mother, Mary Gates, was a schoolteacher, University of Washington regent, and chairwoman of United Way International.

Gates attended public elementary school and the private Lakeside School. There, he discovered his interest in software and began programming computers at age 13.

In 1973, Gates entered Harvard University as a freshman, where he lived down the hall from Steve Ballmer, now Microsoft's chief executive officer. While at Harvard, Gates developed a version of the programming language BASIC for the first microcomputer - the MITS Altair.

In his junior year, Gates left Harvard to devote his energies to Microsoft, a company he had begun in 1975 with his childhood friend Paul Allen. Guided by a belief that the computer would be a valuable tool on every office desktop and in every home, they began developing software for personal computers.

In 1999, Gates wrote Business @ the Speed of Thought, a book that shows how computer technology can solve business problems in fundamentally new ways. The book was published in 25 languages and is available in more than 60 countries. Business @ the Speed of Thought has received wide critical acclaim, and was listed on the best-seller lists of the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and Amazon.com. Gates' previous book, The Road Ahead, published in 1995, held the No. 1 spot on the New York Times' bestseller list for seven weeks.

Gates has donated the proceeds of both books to non-profit organizations that support the use of technology in education and skills development

In addition to his love of computers and software, Gates is interested in biotechnology. He sits on the board of ICOS, a company that specializes in protein-based and small-molecule therapeutics, and he is an investor in a number of other biotechnology companies.

Philanthropy is also important to Gates. He and his wife, Melinda, have endowed a foundation with more than $21 billion to support philanthropic initiatives in the areas of global health and learning, with the hope that as we move into the 21st century, advances in these critical areas will be available for all people.

Gates was married on Jan. 1, 1994, to Melinda French Gates. The couple has two children: a daughter, Jennifer Katharine Gates, born in 1996; and a son, Rory John Gates, born in 1999.

Mr Azimji Premji

An alumnus of Stanford University, USA, Mr.Azim H Premji joined Wipro in 1966 at the age of 21. (now he is the Chairman of Wipro Corporation). Under his leadership, a Rs.70 million company in hydrogenated cooking fats has grown to a $500 million diversified, integrated Corporation in Services, Technology Products and Consumer Products with leadership positions in the businesses it is in. A role model for young entrepreneurs across the world, Mr.Azim Premji has integrated the country's entrepreneurial tradition with professional management, based on sound values and uncompromising integrity.

Mr.Azim Premji's strength lies in bringing together and building charged teams of high potential-high performing people. His vision and pragmatism have helped Wipro Corporation to become the #2 most competitive and successful company in India as rated by Business Today, a leading business magazine in India Today, Wipro in terms of market capitalization is among the top 10 Corporations in India.

Mr. Premji very strongly believes that the most important contributors to Wipro's success have been the articulations and faithful adherence to core values, a shared vision for the future, identification and development of Wipro leaders through clearly defined Wipro Leaders' Qualities.

A hands-on business leader with standards of excellence in everything that the Corporation does, Mr. Premji is almost fanatical about delivering value to customers and his willingness to sacrifice business and profits to hold on to "Our Promise".

Mr. Premji was the Prime drive behind Wipro's decision to achieve "Six Sigma" status in the next six years. In his address to the top management of Wipro Corporation on May 2. 1997, he said, "The end objective of our 'customer-in' concept is that we want to build the voice of the customer in our products and services. This is opposite to the concept of 'product-out', which is the way the world has been operating for some time." In this journey of achieving the near defect-free products and services, Mr. Premji is very clear that as a world class organisation, what Wipro needs to be concerned about is the process, not merely the results.

Abraham Lincolin

Lincoln warned the South in his Inaugural Address: "In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you.... You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect and defend it."

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, guided his country through the most devastating experience in its national history--the CIVIL WAR. He is considered by many historians to have been the greatest American president.

The son of a Kentucky frontiersman, Lincoln had to struggle for a living and for learning. Five months before receiving his party's nomination for President, he sketched his life:

"I was born Feb. 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky. My parents were both born in Virginia, of undistinguished families--second families, perhaps I should say. My mother, who died in my tenth year, was of a family of the name of Hanks.... My father ... removed from Kentucky to ... Indiana, in my eighth year.... It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals still in the woods. There I grew up.... Of course when I came of age I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher ... but that was all."

Lincoln made extraordinary efforts to attain knowledge while working on a farm, splitting rails for fences, and keeping store at New Salem, Illinois. He was a captain in the Black Hawk War, spent eight years in the Illinois legislature, and rode the circuit of courts for many years. His law partner said of him, "His ambition was a little engine that knew no rest."

He married Mary Todd, and they had four boys, only one of whom lived to maturity. In 1858 Lincoln ran against Stephen A. Douglas for Senator. He lost the election, but in debating with Douglas he gained a national reputation that won him the Republican nomination for President in 1860.

As President, he built the Republican Party into a strong national organization. Further, he rallied most of the northern Democrats to the Union cause. On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared forever free those slaves within the Confederacy.

Lincoln never let the world forget that the Civil War involved an even larger issue. This he stated most movingly in dedicating the military cemetery at Gettysburg: "that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain--that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Lincoln won re-election in 1864, as Union military triumphs heralded an end to the war. In his planning for peace, the President was flexible and generous, encouraging Southerners to lay down their arms and join speedily in reunion.

The spirit that guided him was clearly that of his Second Inaugural Address, now inscribed on one wall of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C.: "With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds.... "

On Good Friday, April 14, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington by John Wilkes Booth, an actor, who somehow thought he was helping the South. The opposite was the result, for with Lincoln's death, the possibility of peace with magnanimity died.

"I appeal to you again to constantly bear in mind that with you, and not with politicians, not with Presidents, not with office-seekers, but with you, is the question, "Shall the Union and shall the liberties of this country be preserved to the latest generation?"

Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler, a charismatic, Austrian-born demagogue, rose to power in Germany during the 1920s and early 1930s at a time of social, political, and economic upheaval. Failing to take power by force in 1923, he eventually won power by democratic means. Once in power, he eliminated all opposition and launched an ambitious program of world domination and elimination of the Jews.

Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889, the fourth child of Alois Schickelgruber and Klara Hitler in the Austrian town of Braunau.

Adolf lived for six months across from a large Benedictine monastery. The monastery's coat of arms' most salient feature was a swastika. As a youngster, Adolf's dream was to enter the priesthood. While there is anecdotal evidence that Adolf's father regularly beat him during his childhood, it was not unusual for discipline to be enforced in that way during that period.

By 1900, Hitler's talents as an artist surfaced. He did well enough in school to be eligible for either the university preparatory "gymnasium" or the technical/scientific Realschule. he quit school at the age of 16, partially the result of ill health and partially the result of poor school work.

Hitler spent six years in Vienna, living on a small legacy from his father and an orphan's pension. In May 1913, Hitler, seeking to avoid military service, left Vienna for Munich, the capital of Bavaria In January, the police came to his door bearing a draft notice from the Austrian government. Hitler was arrested on the spot and taken to the Austrian Consulate. Upon reporting to Salzburg for duty, he was found "unfit...too weak...and unable to bear arms."

When World War I was touched off, Hitler submitted a petition to enlist in the Bavarian army. After less than two months of training, Hitler's regiment saw its first combat near Ypres, against the British and Belgians. Hitler narrowly escaped death in battle several times, and was awarded two Iron Crosses for bravery & he rose to the rank of lance corporal.

The Free Corps was a paramilitary organization who banded together to fight the growing Communist insurgency which was taking over Germany. Its members formed the nucleus of the Nazi "brown-shirts" (S.A.) which served as the Nazi party's army.

Soon after the war, Hitler was recruited to join a military intelligence unit, and was assigned to keep tabs on the German Worker's Party. He saw this party as a vehicle to reach his political ends. His blossoming hatred of the Jews became part of the organization's political platform. Advertising for the party's meetings appeared in anti-Semitic newspapers. The turning point of Hitler's mesmerizing oratorical career occurred at one such meeting held on October 16, 1919.

With the assistance of party staff, Hitler drafted a party program consisting of twenty-five points. This platform was presented at a public meeting on February 24, 1920, with over 2,000 eager participants. Among the 25 points were revoking the Versailles Treaty, confiscating war profits, expropriating land without compensation for use by the state, revoking civil rights for Jews, and expelling those Jews who had emigrated into Germany after the war began.

The name of the party was changed to the National Socialist German Worker's party, and the red flag with the swastika was adopted as the party symbol.

On November 8, 1923, Hitler held a rally at a Munich beer hall and proclaimed a revolution. The following day, he led 2,000 armed "brown-shirts" in an attempt to take over the Bavarian government. but Hitler was arrested, and was imprisoned at Landsberg. He received a five-year sentence. Hitler served only nine months of his five-year term. While in prison, he wrote the first volume of Mein Kampf. A second volume of Mein Kampf was published in 1927. he book sold over five million copies by the start of World War II.

Once released from prison, Hitler decided to seize power constitutionally rather than by force of arms. Hitler's Nazi party captured 18% of the popular vote in the 1930 elections. In 1932, Hitler ran for President and won 30% of the vote.

By 1937, he was comfortable enough to put his master plan, as outlined in Mein Kampf, into effect. Calling his top military aides together at the "FÅhrer Conference" in November 1937, he outlined his plans for world domination. Those who objected to the plan were dismissed.

Several attempts were made on Hitler's life during the war, but none was successful. As the war appeared to be inevitably lost and his hand-picked lieutenants, seeing the futility, defied his orders, he killed himself on April 30, 1945. His long-term mistress and new bride, Eva Braun, joined him in suicide.

"If freedom is short of weapons, we must compensate with willpower."

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