APJ Abdul Kalam Quotes

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam – Biography, Books, Thoughts, Quotes & Awards

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, popularly known as the People’s President, was an inspiration to each and everyone in India and around the world; here are some APJ Abdul Kalam quotes to continue to inspire them

Kalam served as the 11th President of India from the year 2002 to 2007, was an Indian aerospace scientist who spent four decades of his life as a scientist at the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Indians Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

After serving for five years as the President, he returned to teaching, writing, and public service.

During his lifetime, he was awarded several prestigious awards & honors, and the United Nations declared his birthday World Student’s Day.

He came to know as Missile Man of India for his intensive work involved in the Indian space program and development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology.

During his lifetime, he inspired everyone, especially the students, who considered him an idol and were always motivated by his words.

In this article, you will find a list of APJ Abdul Kalam quotes & thoughts. Some of the positive thinking Abdul Kalam quotes inspired all walks of life.

Also, there are some APJ Abdul Kalam quotes for students to motivate them for a successful future. Most of Abdul Kalam Quotes in English for students around the world to understand and feel inspired by it.

Childhood & Education:

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (A.P.J Abdul Kalam) was born on 15th October 1931 in

Rameswaram was then in the Madras Presidency, now State of Tamil Nadu.

His father, Jainulabdeen, was a boat owner and imam of a local mosque, and he owned a ferry that took the Hindu pilgrims back and forth while his mother was Ashiamma, was a housewife.

He was the youngest child with siblings, including four brothers and one sister in his family.

Kalam’s ancestors had been wealthy traders and owned plenty of lands, earning them the title of “Mara Kalam Iyakkivar,” which means wooden boat steerers.

However, their business failed with the opening of the Pamban Bridge in 1914, and the properties and other inheritance, including their ancestral home, were lost over time.

Kalam’s family became poor at a very young age, and he had to sell newspapers, contributing to his family income.

He was an average student but was known as a bright mind, hard-working student in his school days who had a strong desire to learn who spent hours on his studies and mathematics being his favorite.

He completed his education at Schwartz Higher Secondary School, Ramanathapuram, and continued his education from Saint Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli.

He graduated from the University of Madras in 1954 in Physics and moved to Madras in 1955 to pursue his studies in aerospace engineering at Madras Institute of Technology.

An incident happened during his engineering studies which led the Dean amazed by his capabilities to work under pressure and meet the deadline.

Kalam was working on a senior project, while the Dean was not satisfied with his efforts and lack of progress and threatened to revoke his scholarship if he did not complete the project within the next three days.

The Dean was left impressed after he met the deadline, who later informed him, “I was putting you under stress and asking you to meet a difficult deadline.”

However, Kalam missed his dream of becoming a fighter pilot with a very narrow margin by coming 9th in the qualifiers, and only eight positions were available in the IAF.

Contribution as a Scientist:

Later after graduating in 1960 from Madras Institute of Technology, Kalam joined as a scientist in DRDO.

He was transferred to ISRO in 1969, where he was the project engineer India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) and was able to successfully deploy the Rohini Orbit in the earth’s orbit only in July 1980.

During the year 1963 to 1964, he visited the Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland, the NASA’s Research Centre in Hampton, Virginia, and also, Wallops Flight Facility.

From the period 1970s to the 1990s, Kalam went on to develop the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and SLV-III projects, which were proved to be successful.

Raja Ramanna invited Kalam to witness, as the representative of TBRL, the launch of the country’s first nuclear test, Smiling Buddha, even though he was not a part of it.

From July 1992 to December 1999, he served as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and Secretary of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

The famous Pokhran-II nuclear tests were done during these periods, where he played a significant political & technological role.

He collaborated with cardiologist Soma Raju to develop a low-cost coronary stent and named it “Kalam-Raju Stent” in 1988.

The duo came together again in 2012 to design a rugged tablet for rural health care, which they named “Kalam-Raju Tablet.”

President Office:

A.P.J Abdul Kalam succeeded K. R. Narayanan and served as the 11th President of India; his office term lasted from 25th July 2002 to 25th July 2007.

He was affectionally known as People’s President during his term as the President.


Kalam traveled to Shillong on 27th July 2015 to give a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong on the topic “Creating a Livable Planet Earth.”

He was facing some discomfort during the climb of the first few steps but was able to enter the auditorium after some rest.

Only about 5 minutes into the lecture, he collapsed and was rushed to the nearby Bethany Hospital in a critical condition.

Kalam was declared dead because of a sudden cardiac arrest despite being in the intensive care unit.

List of Books written by A.P.J Abdul Kalam:

Book Publishing Year
India 2020: A Vision for the New MillenniumYear 1998
Wings of Fire: An AutobiographyYear 1999
Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power within IndiaYear 2002
The Luminous Sparks: A Biography in Verse and Colours Year 2004
Guiding Souls: Dialogues on the Purpose of Life.
Co-author: Arun Tiwari
Year 2005
Mission of India: A Vision of Indian Youth Year 2005
Inspiring Thoughts: Quotation Series Year 2007
You Are Born to Blossom: Take My Journey Beyond.
Co-author: Arun Tiwari
Year 2011
The Scientific India: A Twenty First Century Guide to the World around Us.
Co-author: Y. S. Rajan
Year 2011
Failure to Success: Legendry Lives.
Co-author: Arun Tiwari
Year 2011
Target 3 Billion.
Co-author: ‎Srijan Pal Singh
Year 2011
You are Unique: Scale New Heights by Thoughts and Actions.
Co-author: S. Poonam Kohli
Year 2012
Turning Points: A Journey through ChallengesYear 2012
Indomitable Spirit Year 2013
Spirit of India Year 2013
Thoughts for Change: We Can Do It.
Co-author: A. Sivathanu Pillai
Year 2013
My Journey: Transforming Dreams into ActionsYear 2013
Governance for Growth in India Year 2014
Manifesto for Change.
Co-author: V. Ponraj
Year 2014
Beyond 2020: A Vision for Tomorrow’s India Year 2014
The Guiding Light: A Selection of Quotations from My Favourite Books Year 2015
Reignited: Scientific Pathways to a Brighter Future.
Co-author: ‎Srijan Pal Singh
Year 2015
The Family and the Nation.
Co-author: Acharya Mahapragya
Year 2015
Transcendence My Spiritual Experiences - Co-author: Arun Tiwari Year 2015

List of honors and awards received by A. P. J. Abdul Kalam:

List of honors received by A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Distinguished Fellow – Institute of Directors, India, 1994
Honorary Fellow – National Academy of Medical Sciences, 1995
Honorary Doctorate of Science – University of Wolverhampton, UK, 2007
King Charles II Medal – UK, 2007
Honorary Doctor of Engineering – Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 2008
International von Kármán Wings Award – California Institute of Technology, USA, 2009
Hoover Medal – American Society of Mechanical Engineers, USA, 2009
Doctor of Engineering – University of Waterloo, Canada, 2010
IEEE Honorary Membership – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, USA, 2011
Honorary Doctor of Laws – Simon Fraser University, Canada, 2012
Honorary Doctor of Science – University of Edinburgh, Scotland, 2014

Source: Wikipedia

Awards of Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam
1981: Padma Bhushan – Government of India
1990: Padma Vibhushan – Government of India
1997: Bharat Ratna – Government of India
1997: Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration – Government of India
1998: Veer Sarkar Award – Government of India
2000: SASTRA Ramanujan Prize – Shanmugha Arts,Science,Technology & Research Academy, India
2013: Von Braun Award – National Space Society

Source: Wikipedia

List of APJ Abdul Kalam Quotes that continues to inspire us:

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“To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“The bird is powered by its own life and by its motivation.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“Never be a prisoner of your past. It was just a lesson, not a life sentence.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“If four things are followed – having a great aim, acquiring knowledge, hard work, and perseverance – then anything can be achieved.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“Dream, dream, dream. Dreams transform into thoughts and thoughts result in action.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“If you want to shine like a sun, first burn like a sun.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“For me, there are two types of people: the young and the experienced.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“Educationists should build the capacities of the spirit of inquiry, creativity, entrepreneurial and moral leadership among students and become their role model.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“Poetry comes from the highest happiness or the deepest sorrow.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“Creativity is seeing the same thing but thinking differently.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“You see, God helps only people who work hard. That principle is very clear.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“You have to dream before your dreams can come true.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“Winners are not those who never fail but those who never quit.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“A dream is not that which you see while sleeping, it is something that does not let you sleep.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“Science is a beautiful gift to humanity; we should not distort it.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“I am not handsome but I can give my hand to someone who needs help… Because beauty is required in the heart, not in face…” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“Don’t take rest after your first victory because if you fail in second, more lips are waiting to say that your first victory was just luck.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“While children are struggling to be unique, the world around them is trying all means to make them look like everybody else.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“I was willing to accept what I couldn’t change.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“A teacher should have a creative mind.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“Ultimately, education in its real sense is the pursuit of truth. It is an endless journey through knowledge and enlightenment.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“Creativity is the key to success in the future, and primary education is where teachers can bring creativity in children at that level.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“The best brains of the nation may be found on the last benches of the classroom.”- A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“Those who cannot work with their hearts achieve but a hollow, half-hearted success that breeds bitterness all around.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“If you salute your duty, you no need to salute anybody, but if you pollute your duty, you have to salute everybody.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“If you fail, never give up because Fail means “First Attempt In Learning.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“Luxury and Lies have huge maintenance costs. But Truth and Simplicity are self-maintained without any cost.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“Empty pocket teaches you a million things in life, but full pocket spoils you in a million ways.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“When our signature changes to autograph, this marks the Success.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“You should not give up and we should not allow the problem to defeat us.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“Great teachers emanate out of knowledge, passion and compassion.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“I firmly believe that unless one has tasted the bitter pill of failure, one cannot aspire enough for success.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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