Dr Zakir Hussain (February 8, 1897 - May 3, 1969) was the third President of India from May 13, 1967 until his death.
DR. ZAKIR HUSSAIN was born at Hyderabad on February 8, 1897, he came of a Pathan family of the upper middle-class, settled at Qaunganj in the District of Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh. His father, Fida Hussain Khan, went to Hyderabad, studied Law and had a most successful career. Unfortunately, he died when Dr. Zakir Hussain was only ten years old.
Hussain was born in Hyderabad, India. He went for higher education to Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College (now Aligarh Muslim University). He was known even in those days for his love of knowledge, his wit and eloquence and his readiness to help his fellow students.
Zakir Hussain, then only 23 and a student of the M.A. class, was among the small group of students and teachers who decided to establish a National Muslim University by the name of Jamia Millia Islamia.
Zakir Hussain's unceasing quest for knowledge also took him to Germany in the 1920's. During his three year stay there, he acquired a deep love for European art and literature on music and he also got a Doctorate from the University of Berlin in Economics.
In November 1948, Dr. Zakir Hussain was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University. He was also nominated a member of the Indian Universities Commission. The World University Service made him the Chairman of the Indian National Committee and in 1954 he was elected the World President of the organization. He was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha and made the Indian representative on the Executive Board of the UNESCO from 1956 to 1958. He remained the Chairman, Central Board of Secondary Education, till 1957, a member of the University Grants Commission till 1957, a member of the University Education Commission in 1948-1949 and of the Educational Reorganisation Committee of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Dr. Zakir Hussain was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1954 and Bharat Ratna in 1963. He was awarded D.Litt. (Honoris Causa) by the Universities of Delhi, Calcutta, Aligarh, Allahabad and Cairo. After serving as the Vice President for a term of five years, Dr. Zakir Hussain was elected President of India on May 13, 1967. In his deeply moving inaugural speech he said that the whole of India was his home and all its people were his family.