Famous Indian Leaders

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 1 
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
(Aerospace Scientist & 11th President of India)
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
82
Birthdate: October 15, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: July 27, 2015
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, India’s 11th president, had earlier been an aerospace scientist at DRDO and ISRO. Known as the “People’s President” and the “Missile Man of India,” he was instrumental in India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests. He died of a cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture at IIM Shillong.
 2 
Narendra Modi
(14th Prime Minister of India)
Narendra Modi
178
Birthdate: September 17, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vadnagar, Gujarat, India

The 14th PM of India, Narendra Modi, created history when he became the first prime minister outside of the Congress party to win two consecutive terms with a full majority; he achieved this feat in 2019. From Bharatiya Janata Party worker to India’s PM, Modi’s journey is remarkable. However, he’s been plagued by controversies too, including the handling of 2002 Gujarat riots.

 3 
B. R. Ambedkar
(One of the Architects of the Indian Constitution)
B. R. Ambedkar
56
Birthdate: April 14, 1891
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Madhya Pradesh, India
Died: December 6, 1956

India's first Minister of Law and Justice, B. R. Ambedkar inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement. He also fought against social discrimination prevalent in India at that time. Widely regarded as the chief architect of the Constitution of India, Ambedkar was posthumously honored with India's highest civilian award - The Bharat Ratna.

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 4 
Indira Gandhi
(3rd Prime Minister of India)
Indira Gandhi
55
Birthdate: November 19, 1917
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: October 31, 1984

The third Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi served as PM from 1966 till 1977 and then again from 1980 till her assassination in October 1984. She is considered one of India’s strongest PM and is hailed for leading India to victory over Pakistan in 1971, which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh. However, she is also categorised as authoritarian and is criticised for imposing Emergency in 1975.

 5 
Subhas Chandra Bose
(Indian Nationalist Who Participated in Indian Freedom Movement)
Subhas Chandra Bose
28
Birthdate: January 23, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cuttack, India
Died: August 18, 1945

An Indian nationalist known for his role in the country’s struggle for freedom from the British, Subhas Chandra Bose was a politician with radical views. He was part of the Indian National Congress in the late 1920s and 1930s. However, his association with Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan made him a controversial figure.

 6 
Bhagat Singh
(Revolutionary Hero of the Indian Independence Movement)
Bhagat Singh
26
Birthdate: September 28, 1907
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Banga, Punjab, British India
Died: March 23, 1931

Bhagat Singh is one of the most revered freedom fighters of Indian Independence movement. His execution by the British rulers at a young age of 23 inspired many young people to join the freedom struggle. His life’s mission was to free India from colonial rule and his legacy as a symbol of bravery and patriotism continues to live on.

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 7 
Atal Bihari Vajpayee
(Former Prime Minister of India)
Atal Bihari Vajpayee
50
Birthdate: December 25, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gwalior
Died: August 16, 2018

Atal Bihari Vajpayee served as the 10th Prime Minister of India and was the first prime minister who did not belong to the Indian National Congress. The BJP politician had been a journalist and an RSS member. He was a noted poet, too. During his tenure as prime minister, he carried out Pokhran II nuclear tests in 1998 and declared India as a country with nuclear weapons capability.

 8 
Mahatma Gandhi
(Indian Freedom Fighter who Employed Non-violent Resistance & Known as 'Father of the Nation')
Mahatma Gandhi
258
Birthdate: October 2, 1869
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Porbandar, India
Died: January 30, 1948

An Indian lawyer and anti-colonial nationalist, Mahatma Gandhi was a major figure in India’s fight for independence from British rule. He is renowned for his employment of non-violent resistance and civil disobedience methods. Despite his popularity, he had numerous detractors as well and was assassinated in 1948. He is widely considered the Father of the Nation in India.

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 9 
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
(First Deputy Prime Minister of India and First Home Minister of India)
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
23
Birthdate: October 31, 1875
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Nadiad, Gujarat, India
Died: December 15, 1950

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was an Indian politician who played an influential role in the Indian independence movement. Dubbed the Iron Man of India and Unifier of India, Sardar Patel played an important role in integrating various princely states into a united, independent nation. In 2018, the world's tallest statue called the Statue of Unity was dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

 10 
Ashoka
(Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty)
Ashoka
18
Birthdate: 0304 BC
Birthplace: Pataliputra
Died: 0232 BC
Ashoka the Great of the Maurya Dynasty was the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya and ruled the Indian subcontinent from c. 268 to 232 BCE. Following the death and destruction caused by the Kalinga War, which was part of his expansion plan, he converted to Buddhism and propagated the faith.
 11 
Lal Bahadur Shastri
(2nd Prime Minister of India)
Lal Bahadur Shastri
20
Birthdate: October 2, 1904
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mughalsarai, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: January 11, 1966

The second prime minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri, was known for his environmental campaigns and his support for the White Revolution. His slogan "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan,” during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War, became immensely popular. He ended the war by signing the Tashkent Agreement, but died a day later.

 12 
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
(2nd President of India (1962 – 1967), 1st Vice President of India (1952 - 1962))
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
21
Birthdate: September 5, 1888
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Thiruttani, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: April 17, 1975

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was the second President of India and served from 1962 to 1967. He is regarded as one of India’s most eminent scholars and wrote extensively on Indian philosophy and religion. Lifelong he defended Hindu traditions and culture against criticism from the West. September 5, his birthday, is observed as Teachers Day in India, in his honour.

 13 
Bal Gangadhar Tilak
(Indian Independence Activist and One Third of the 'Lal Bal Pal' Triumvirate)
Bal Gangadhar Tilak
17
Birthdate: July 23, 1856
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Maharashtra, India
Died: September 1, 1920
Indian nationalist and freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak, also known as Lokmanya Tilak, promoted the concept of Swaraj, or self-rule. He was part of the freedom-fighter trio know as Lal Bal Pal, along with fellow Indian National Congress members Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal.
 14 
Sushma Swaraj
(Politician)
Sushma Swaraj
32
Birthdate: February 14, 1952
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New Delhi, india
Died: August 6, 2019

Supreme Court lawyer and BJP leader Sushma Swaraj had held several ministries, such as external affairs and information and broadcasting. Named India’s “best loved politician” by Wall Street Journal, Swaraj was known for her prompt assistance to Indians in emergency situations abroad and was awarded the Padma Vibhushan posthumously.

 15 
P. V. Narasimha Rao
(Indian Politician Who Served as the 9th Prime Minister of India from 1991 to 1996)
P. V. Narasimha Rao
15
Birthdate: June 28, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Karimnagar, India
Died: December 23, 2004

The ninth Prime Minister of India, P. V. Narasimha Rao, is often called the Father of Indian Economic Reforms due to a major economic transformation in India during his prime ministership. He dismantled the Licence Raj and his economic policies rescued India from an impending economic collapse. 

 16 
Rajendra Prasad
(1st President of India)
Rajendra Prasad
15
Birthdate: December 3, 1884
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Siwan, Bihar, India
Died: February 28, 1963
Rajendra Prasad was India’s first and longest-tenured president, from 1950 to 1962. He was re-elected in 1957, thus becoming the only Indian president to serve two terms. He had previously been a freedom fighter and later also served as the president of the Constituent Assembly, which drafted India’s constitution.
 17 
Rajiv Gandhi
(Former Prime Minister of India)
Rajiv Gandhi
25
Birthdate: August 20, 1944
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Died: May 21, 1991

Rajiv Gandhi was the sixth and the youngest Prime Minister of India. He played a major role in suhering the computer era in India. During the initial phase of his term, he was very popular but later on his regime was marred by corruption scandals and he lost the next election. He was assassinated by Tamil militants, while he was the leader of the opposition. 

 18 
M. Karunanidhi
(2nd Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (2006 - 2011))
M. Karunanidhi
11
Birthdate: June 3, 1924
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Thirukkuvalai, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: August 7, 2018

The patriarch of the Karunanidhi political family of India, M. Karunanidhi had been the chief minister of Tamil Nadu for almost 20 years. The DMK leader was also a noted scriptwriter and author, having written films such as Parasakthi. His son, M. K. Stalin is the current Tamil Nadu chief minister.

 19 
Manmohan Singh
(Former Prime Minister of India)
Manmohan Singh
15
Birthdate: September 26, 1932
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gah, Punjab, British India (present-day Punjab, Pakistan)

The 13th Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh became the first Sikh in office when he took office in 2004. A prominent economist and academic, he held several key posts in the Government of India in the 1970s and 1980s. Known for his humility, he  has been described by the media as "one of the world's most revered leaders."

 20 
Chandra Shekhar Azad
(Indian Revolutionary Who Reorganised Hindustan Socialist Republican Association)
Chandra Shekhar Azad
13
Birthdate: July 23, 1906
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Badarka, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: February 27, 1931

Chandra Shekhar Azad joined India’s freedom struggle against the British after being deeply affected by the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Born Chandra Shekhar Tiwari, he declared himself as Azad when arrested in connection with Gandhiji’s non-cooperation movement. He shot himself to death to escape being held captive by the British.

 21 
Bal Thackeray
(Indian Politician Who Founded the Shiv Sena, a Right-Wing Pro-Marathi and Hindu Nationalist Party)
Bal Thackeray
14
Birthdate: January 23, 1926
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pune, Maharashtra, India
Died: November 17, 2012

Legendary Indian politician Bal Thackeray, or Balasaheb Thackeray, was the patriarch of one of the most influential political families of India and the founder of the Shiv Sena. He went from being a cartoonist to the godfather of Maharashtra, though his overtly regional and Hindu nationalist ideals were often criticized.

 22 
Morarji Desai
(Politician, Prime Minister of India)
Morarji Desai
9
Birthdate: February 29, 1896
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bhadeli, Bombay Presidency, British India
Died: April 10, 1995
Bharat Ratna-recipient Morarji Desai was a freedom fighter and served as the prime minister of India from 1977 to 1979. He had also been the minister of home affairs and the minister of finance. He was initially part of the Indian National Congress and later joined the Janata Party
 23 
Prithviraj Chauhan
(Rajput king of the Chauhan dynasty)
Prithviraj Chauhan
7
Birthdate: 1149 AD
Birthplace: Ajmer
Died: 1192 AD

A king from the Chahamana dynasty, Prithviraj Chauhan ruled Sapadalaksha in present-day north-western India. The son of king Someshvara and queen Karpuradevi, he ascended to the throne when he was just a child. As a young man, he became known as a brave warrior and an excellent military commander. Various sources differ on the exact circumstances of his death.

 24 
L. K. Advani
(Indian Politician Who Served as the 7th Deputy Prime Minister of India from 2002 to 2004)
L. K. Advani
15
Birthdate: November 8, 1927
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Karāchi, Pakistan

L. K. Advani is a retired Indian politician who served as the Deputy Prime Minister of India from 2002 to 2004. A co-founder of the Bharatiya Janata Party, he has also been the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha on two occasions. He is a recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian honor.

 25 
Nirmala Sitharaman
(Politician)
Nirmala Sitharaman
20
Birthdate: August 18, 1959
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Madurai, Madras State, India (present-day Tamil Nadu)
One of the world’s 100 most powerful women in 2020 according to Forbes, BJP member Nirmala Sitharaman is the first woman to be a full-time finance minister of India. The Madurai-born JNU alumna had earlier quit her PhD program in economics midway to move to London with her husband.
 26 
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
(Indian Independence Activist and 1st Indian Minister of Education)
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
14
Birthdate: November 11, 1888
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Died: February 22, 1958

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was an Indian independence activist, Islamic theologian, and scholar. He played a key role in the Indian independence movement, serving as a senior leader of the Congress. His contribution to the Indian education system is recognized across India by celebrating his birthday as National Education Day

 27 
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
(Independence Activist, Reformer)
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
18
Birthdate: May 28, 1883
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bhagur
Died: February 26, 1966

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was an Indian politician and independence activist. He formulated the Hindu nationalist philosophy of Hindutva and was a leading figure in the Hindu Mahasabha. He was known for his strong oratory skills and was an eloquent writer. He was initially charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi but was later acquitted.

 28 
K. Kamaraj
(Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (1954-63))
K. Kamaraj
11
Birthdate: July 15, 1903
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: October 2, 1975
 29 
N. Chandrababu Naidu
(Politician)
N. Chandrababu Naidu
5
Birthdate: April 20, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, India
 30 
Arun Jaitley
(Minister of Finance (2014-2019))
Arun Jaitley
16
Birthdate: December 28, 1952
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Delhi, India
Died: August 24, 2019

BJP member Arun Jaitley had led ministries such as finance, defense, and law and justice. The Indian politician was a skilled lawyer and had been part of cases such as the 2002 Pepsi vs. Coca-Cola case in the Supreme Court. He was awarded a Padma Vibhushan posthumously.

 31 
Sharad Pawar
(Indian Politician)
Sharad Pawar
12
Birthdate: December 12, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pune, India
 32 
Sonia Gandhi
(President of Indian National Congress)
Sonia Gandhi
29
Birthdate: December 9, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lusiana, Lusiana Conco, Italy

Sonia Gandhi is an Indian politician and president of one of the most prominent Indian political parties, The Indian National Congress. As the president of Indian National Congress, which has been one of India's most successful political parties in the country's post-independence history, Sonia Gandhi remains one of the most powerful women in India.

 33 
Mohammad Azharuddin
(Former Indian International Cricketer Who Played as a Batsman)
Mohammad Azharuddin
8
Birthdate: February 8, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Mohammad Azharuddin, also known as Azhar, was the captain of the Indian cricket team for much of the 1990s. He made headlines for his affair with actor-model Sangeeta Bijlani, which later culminated in marriage. He was later banned from cricket for match-fixing. He also became an Indian National Congress MP.
 34 
Sam Manekshaw
(The First Indian Army Officer to be Promoted to the Rank of Field Marshal)
Sam Manekshaw
4
Birthdate: April 3, 1914
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Amritsar, Punjab
Died: June 27, 2008
Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was the Indian Army’s Chief of the Army Staff during the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War, in which India emerged victorious. He had started his military career with the British Indian Army during World War II. He had also been awarded the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan.
 35 
Arvind Kejriwal
(Chief Minister of Delhi (2013-14, Since 2015))
Arvind Kejriwal
13
Birthdate: August 16, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Siwani, Haryana, India
Indian politician Arvind Kejriwal is the incumbent chief minister of Delhi and the founder of the Aam Aadmi Party. The Ramon Magsaysay Award-winning leader is an IIT-KGP alumnus and was initially a joint commissioner of income tax with the IRS. His book Swaraj highlights burning issues such as corruption.
 36 
C. Rajagopalachari
(Indian Independence Activist and the Last Governor-General of India)
C. Rajagopalachari
7
Birthdate: December 9, 1878
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Thorapalli, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: December 25, 1972

Bharat Ratna-winner C. Rajagopalachari, nicknamed Rajaji or C.R., was the last Governor-General of India and the first Indian to hold the post. He had also served as an INC leader, the Governor of West Bengal, and the Premier of the Madras Presidency. He launched the Swatantra Party and propagated peace.

 37 
Lala Lajpat Rai
(Indian Author, Freedom Fighter, Politician and One of the Three Members of the ‘Lal Bal Pal’ Trimurti)
Lala Lajpat Rai
7
Birthdate: January 28, 1865
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Punjab, India
Died: November 17, 1928

Lala Lajpat Rai was an Indian politician who played a major role in the Indian Independence movement. He is credited with inspiring many young men, including Bhagat Singh and Chandrasekhar Azad, to join the freedom struggle through journalistic writings and activism. He was popularly known as Punjab Kesari

 38 
Baji Rao I
(Peshwa of Maratha Empire from 1720 to 1740)
Baji Rao I
11
Birthdate: August 18, 1700
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sinnar, Maharashtra, India
Died: April 28, 1740

Baji Rao I was a peshwa, or chief minister, of the Maratha empire in India. His conquests led a massive blow to the Mughal Empire. In spite of being married to Kashibai, he took a second wife, half-Muslim Mastani, a story that was retold in several movies later.

 39 
Mangal Pandey
(Indian Soldier Who Played an Important Role During the Time of the Indian Rebellion of 1857)
Mangal Pandey
8
Birthdate: July 19, 1827
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nagwa, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: April 8, 1857
Indian soldier Mangal Pandey was a significant figure in the Indian rebellion of 1857, also known as the Sepoy Mutiny, or First War of Independence. Pandey was a sepoy of the British East India Company’s 34th BNI Regiment. His life inspired the Bollywood movie Mangal Pandey: The Rising
 40 
Jayaprakash Narayan
(Indian Independence Activist Who is Remembered for Leading the Mid-1970s Opposition Against Prime Minister Indira Gandhi)
Jayaprakash Narayan
6
Birthdate: October 11, 1902
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bihar, India
Died: October 8, 1979

Jayaprakash Narayan was a theorist, political leader, socialist, and Indian independence activist. Often referred to as the Hero of Quit India Movement, Jayaprakash Narayan was honored with the prestigious Magsaysay Award in 1965 for Public Service. He was posthumously honored with India's highest civilian award—The Bharat Ratna—in 1999.

 41 
Ram Nath Kovind
(14th President of India)
Ram Nath Kovind
17
Birthdate: October 1, 1945
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Derapur, Kanpur Dehat District, Uttar Pradesh, India
Ram Nath Kovind, the 14th President of India, was the first RSS leader to become a president. He has earlier been the Governor of Bihar and a Rajya Sabha MP. He also had a 16-year career as a lawyer and worked at the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court.
 42 
Kiran Bedi
(First Woman in India to Join the Officer Ranks of the Indian Police Service (IPS))
Kiran Bedi
13
Birthdate: June 9, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Amritsar, India

Kiran Bedi is an Indian police officer and social activist. In 1972, she became the first Indian woman to serve as an officer in the Indian Police Service. From 2016 to 2021, she served as the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, playing an important role in the development of the Indian Union Territory. Her life has inspired many films, including Karthavyam.

 43 
N. T. Rama Rao
(Indian Actor, Filmmaker and Politician Who Served as the Chief Misnister of Andhra Pradesh)
N. T. Rama Rao
14
Birthdate: May 28, 1923
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nimmakuru, Andhra Pradesh, India
Died: January 18, 1996

N. T. Rama Rao was an Indian actor, director, editor, producer, and politician. One of the most celebrated and popular Telugu actors of all time, Rao is best remembered for playing Hindu deities like Krishna. He was also an influential politician; he served as Andhra Pradesh's chief minister for seven years.

 44 
H. D. Deve Gowda
(11th Prime Minister of India (1996 - 1997))
H. D. Deve Gowda
7
Birthdate: May 18, 1933
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Haradanahalli, Karnataka, India

Former prime minister of India, H. D. Deve Gowda is currently a Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka. Born to a backward-class family in Hassan, Deve Gowda had initially studied civil engineering. He had previously been an INC member but later quit the party to become a Janata Dal leader.

 45 
M. G. Ramachandran
(Actor, Politician and 3rd Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu)
M. G. Ramachandran
10
Birthdate: January 17, 1917
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nawalapitiya, Sri Lanka
Died: December 24, 1987

M. G. Ramachandran was an Indian actor-turned-politician who served as the third chief minister of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. He is credited with founding one of the most popular political parties of Tamil Nadu, The AIADMK. Widely regarded as a humanitarian and cultural icon, Ramachandran's portraits can still be seen all over Tamil Nadu.

 46 
Mahavir Singh Phogat
(Indian Amateur Wrestler, Coach and Politician)
Mahavir Singh Phogat
4
Birthplace: Haryana, India
 47 
Dadabhai Naoroji
(Indian Political Leader Who was the Second Person of Asian Descent to be a British MP)
Dadabhai Naoroji
7
Birthdate: September 4, 1825
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Died: June 30, 1917

Dadabhai Naoroji was an Indian scholar and political leader. Dubbed the Grand Old Man of India, Naoroji is remembered for co-founding the Indian National Congress where he served as the president on three occasions. He also played an important role in India's fight for freedom, popularizing the Indian wealth drain theory through his book Poverty and Un-British Rule in India.

 48 
Birsa Munda
(Tribal Leader Who Revolted Against the British Rule)
Birsa Munda
4
Birthdate: November 15, 1875
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ulihatu, Khunti, India
Died: June 9, 1900

In spite of his short life, which ended at age 24, Birsa Munda is remembered for spearheading the tribal movement against the British. He also made the British introduce new laws for the protection of the tribal land rights. He died in prison while undergoing trials.

 49 
Jayalalitha Jayaram
(Indian Politician)
Jayalalitha Jayaram
16
Birthdate: February 24, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Melukote, India
Died: December 5, 2016
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 50 
K. R. Narayanan
(President of India)
K. R. Narayanan
4
Birthdate: October 27, 1920
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Uzhavoor
Died: November 9, 2005

Born to a modest Ayurveda practitioner in a Kerala village, K. R. Narayanan initially dabbled in journalism and then studied political science at LSE. He later served as the president of India, becoming the first Dalit to achieve the feat. He had also been an ambassador to the U.S. and China.