Famous Indian Presidents

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India is a federal parliamentary democratic republic since its independence in 1947. The President of India serves as the head of the state, while the Prime Minister is the Head of the government. Just like other parliamentary republics, the executive powers of running a government lie with the Prime Minister of the country, while the role of the President is largely ceremonial. The President heads the executive and legislature of India and also serves as the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces. His term is mostly of five years and is indirectly elected by the people through the elected members of both the houses of the parliament and the legislative assemblies of Delhi and Puducherry. The primary duty of the President is to preserve, protect and defend the constitution and the law of India. After the establishment of the Constitution of India in 1950, the inaugural post of the President was held by Dr Rajendra Prasad, who till date remains as the longest serving President and the only one to serve for two terms in office. India has had thirteen Presidents till date. Pratibha Patil, who assumed office as the 12th President of the country in 2007, became the first woman to serve the post. Pranab Mukherjee serves as the incumbent President of India since July 2012. Check this section to know more about the Presidents of India, their life and their works.
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 1 
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
(Aerospace Scientist & 11th President of India)
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
18
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 
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
(2nd President of India (1962 – 1967), 1st Vice President of India (1952 - 1962))
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
14
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.

 3 
Rajendra Prasad
(1st President of India)
Rajendra Prasad
11
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.
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 4 
Pranab Mukherjee
(13th President of India (2012-2017))
Pranab Mukherjee
17
Birthdate: December 11, 1935
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mirity, West Bengal, India
Died: August 31, 2020

An Indian politician who served as the 13th President of India, Pranab Mukherjee was a veteran with a political career spanning over five decades. He occupied several ministerial portfolios in the Government of India, such as Defence, Finance and External Affairs. He was honored with Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, in 2019.

 5 
Ram Nath Kovind
(14th President of India)
Ram Nath Kovind
25
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.
 6 
K. R. Narayanan
(President of India)
K. R. Narayanan
6
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.

 7 
Dr Zakir Husain
(3rd President of India)
Dr Zakir Husain
6
Birthdate: February 8, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hyderabad, India
Died: May 3, 1969

Dr. Zakir Husain was the third President of India and  was the first President to die in office . During his lifetime, he helped found the National Muslim University which was later renamed Jamia Millia Islamia. He was honored with India's highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna in 1963.

 8 
Pratibha Patil
(Former President of India)
Pratibha Patil
21
Birthdate: December 19, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Nadgaon, Maharashtra, India

Pratibha Patil served as the president of India from 2007 to 2012 and was the first and only woman to have held the position. The INC member had also been the governor of the Indian state of Rajasthan earlier. She had started her political career as an MLA from Jalgaon.

 9 
Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
(Sixth President of India)
Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
8
Birthdate: May 19, 1913
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Illur, Anantapur District, Madras Presidency, British India
Died: June 1, 1996

Neelam Sanjiva Reddy had initially been part of the Indian independence movement. He was the first chief minister of the state of Andhra Pradesh in India and later served as the president of India. He had also headed the Indian National Congress and had been the speaker of the Lok Sabha.

 10 
Shankar Dayal Sharma
(Former President of India)
Shankar Dayal Sharma
7
Birthdate: August 19, 1918
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bhopal
Died: December 26, 1999

Former president of India Shankar Dayal Sharma was born in a small village near Bhopal in India. His interest in law got him to Harvard and Cambridge, and he later participated in the Indian independence movement. He also headed the Indian National Congress and was the first chief minister of Bhopal.

 11 
Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq
(Former President of Pakistan)
Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq
10
Birthdate: August 12, 1924
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Jalandhar, Punjab, British India
Died: August 17, 1988
Pakistani military general Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq became the president of Pakistan after he deposed the erstwhile prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and declared martial law in 1977. He subsequently became longest-tenured head of state, reigning from 1978 to 1988. He died in a plane crash in Bahawalpur.
 12 
V. V. Giri
(Fourth President of India)
V. V. Giri
8
Birthdate: August 10, 1894
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Berhampur
Died: June 24, 1980

V. V. Giri served as the fourth president of India and was in the office from 1969 to 1974. For his immense contributions to the development of public affairs, V. V. Giri was honored with the Bharat Ratna. However, his presidency is often criticized as he was considered a rubber stamp president who subordinated himself to the prime minister.

 13 
Zail Singh
(President of India)
Zail Singh
8
Birthdate: May 5, 1916
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Faridkot, Punjab, India
Died: December 25, 1994

Zail Singh was the seventh President of India and was the first Sikh to occupy the office. Before becoming the President, he served as the Home Minister of India in Indira Ganhi's cabinet. The latter part of his presidency was marked by tension with the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

 14 
Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed
(5th President of India)
Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed
6
Birthdate: May 13, 1905
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Old Delhi, India
Died: February 11, 1977

Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed was an Indian politician and lawyer who served as the country's fifth president from 1974 to 1977. He became only the second Indian president to die in office. He was also only the second Muslim to serve as the president of India. He signed the proclaimation by which the Emergency was imposed in India

 15 
Mohammad Hidayatullah
(Lawyer, Academician, Vice President)
Mohammad Hidayatullah
4
Birthdate: December 17, 1905
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lucknow
Died: September 18, 1992

Mohammad Hidayatullah was an Indian lawyer, politician, and academician. He served as the chief justice of India from 1968 to 1970. He also served as the sixth Vice President of India. An eminent scholar, Hidayatullah was the president of Indian Society of International Law, Indian Law Institute, and the Indian branch of International Law Association.

 16 
Ramaswamy Venkataraman
(President , lawyer, politician)
Ramaswamy Venkataraman
4
Birthdate: December 4, 1910
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rajamadam
Died: January 27, 2009

Ramaswamy Venkataraman was an Indian independence activist, lawyer, and politician. He served as the eighth president of the country from 1987 to 1992. His five-year term as the president witnessed the emergence of coalition politics in India. Prior to becoming the President, he also served as the Union Finance Minister and Defence Minister.

 17 
Basappa Danappa Jatti
(Politician, Vice-President)
Basappa Danappa Jatti
6
Birthdate: September 10, 1912
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Savalagi, Karnataka India
Died: June 7, 2002

Basappa Danappa Jatti was a politician who served as the vice president of India from 1974 to 1979. He also served as the acting president of the country for a brief period in 1977. Jatti was a soft-spoken person who rose from a humble beginning. He was also a religious man and helped found a religious organization called Basava Samithi.