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Zakir Husain

President of India

Died when: 72 years 84 days (866 months)
Star Sign: Aquarius


Zakir Husain

Zakir Husain Khan (8 February 1897 – 3 May 1969) known as Dr.Zakir Husain, was an Indian educationist and politician who served as President of India from 13 May 1967 until his death on 3 May 1969.

Born into an Afridi Pashtun family in Hyderabad, Husain studied in Etawah, the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College, Aligarh and the University of Berlin from where he obtained a doctoral degree in economics.

He was a founding member of the Jamia Milia Islamia of which he served as Vice-chancellor during 1926 to 1948.He was closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi and was chairman of the Basic National Education Committee which framed a new educational policy known as Nai Talim with its emphasis on free and compulsory education in the first language.

Appointed Vice Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University in 1948, he helped retain it as a national institution of higher learning.

For his services to education, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1954 and was a nominated member of the Indian Parliament during 1952 to 1957.

Husain served as Governor of Bihar from 1957 to 1962 and was elected the Vice President of India in 1962.The following year, he was conferred the Bharat Ratna.

He was elected president in 1967, succeeding Dr.S.Radhakrishnan, and became the first Muslim to hold the highest constitutional office in India.

He was also the first incumbent to die in office in 1969 and has had the shortest tenure of any President.

His mazar lies in the campus of the Jamia Milia Islamia in Delhi.An author and translator of several books into Urdu and a prolific writer of children's books, Husain has been commemorated in India through postage stamps and several educational institutions, libraries, roads and Asia's largest rose garden that have been named after him.

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