• Kyodo


Former Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who was known as the country’s “Missile Man” for his engagement in the country’s missile and nuclear development, died Monday after he collapsed during a lecture in Shillong, northeastern India, the Press Trust of India reported. He was 83.

He was rushed to a hospital after collapsing while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management at around 6:30 p.m., the news service said. The exact cause of his death remains unknown.

Serving as the 11th president from 2002 to 2007, Kalam was a popular head of state, rising from humble beginnings and eventually making contributions to the country in scientific projects.

He was born into a poor family in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in 1931. After studying aerospace engineering, he joined in the country’s missile development programs from the early 1980s.

Kalam, a Muslim, served as an adviser in science and technology for a defense minister in the 1990s and played a pivotal role in the 1998 nuclear test by India.

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