Indian politicianDied when: 72 years 79 days (866 months)
Star Sign: Cancer
Kumaraswami Kamaraj (15 July 1903 – 2 October 1975), popularly known as Kamarajar was an Indian independence activist and politician who served as the Chief Minister of Madras State (Tamil Nadu) from 13 April 1954 to 2 October 1963.
He was the founder and the president of the Indian National Congress (Organisation), widely acknowledged as the "Kingmaker" in Indian politics during the 1960s.
He also served as the president of the Indian National Congress for two terms i.e. four years between 1964–1967 and was responsible for the elevation of Lal Bahadur Shastri to the position of Prime Minister of India after Nehru's death and Indira Gandhi after Shastri's death.
He was the Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha during 1952–1954 and 1969–1975.He was known for his simplicity and integrity.
He played a major role in developing the infrastructure of the Madras state and worked to improve the quality of life of the needy and the disadvantaged.
As the president of the INC, he was instrumental in steering the party after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru.As the chief minister of Madras, he was responsible for bringing free education to the disadvantaged and introduced the free Midday Meal Scheme while he himself did not complete schooling.
He was awarded with India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, posthumously in 1976.US Vice-president Hubert Humphrey, called Kamaraj as "one of the greatest political leaders in all the countries of the free world" in January 1966.