Updated: June 16, 2022
Dr Zakir Husain Khan was the third President of India, from 13th May 1967 until his death on 3rd May 1969. He previously served as Governor of Bihar from 1957 to 1962 and as Vice President of India from 1962 to 1967. He was also the co-founder of Jamia Milia Islamia, serving as its Vice Chancellor from 1928.
He was a renowned educationist and intellectual and his contribution in the development of modern India through education is invaluable. He served as Vice Chancellor of Jamia Milia Islamia for 22 years, making it one of the most distinguished centres of learning. He spent his entire life working for the cause of education and value of secularism. For his services to the country he was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest national honour. He was born on February 8th, 1897 and died on May 3rd, 1969.
Zakir Husain was born to Fida Husain Khan and Naznin Begum on February 8th, 1897, in Kaimganj, Farrukhabad. His family, which originally was based in Hyderabad, had migrated to Kaimganj. He was the third of the seven sons born to the couple. His father died when young Husain was merely ten years of age. Within three years, his mother too passed away leaving Husain and his six siblings orphaned.
He completed his early education from Islamia High School in Etawah after which he enrolled at the Anglo Muhammadan Oriental College, which is now popular by the name of Aligarh Muslim University.
At college, he served as a prominent student leader. In 1918, he passed his B.A. Honors and joined M.A., but the Khilafat and Non-Co-operation Movement led by Mahatama Gandhi, inspired him to leave the government administered college.
He married at the age of 18 in 1915 to Shah Jahan Begum following the tradition of early marriage. The couple was blessed with two daughters, Sayeeda Khan and Safia Rahman. His grandson, Salman Khurshid, took forward his political legacy by serving as a Congress politician. He even took up the profile of the Foreign Minister of India in the former government.
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