Shankar Dayal Sharma was the 9th President of India and served its office between 19 August 1918 and 26 December 1999. He had earlier served as the eighth vice-president of India.
He also served as the Chief Minister of Bhopal and was the Cabinet minister holding the portfolios of Education, Law, Public Works, Industry and Commerce, National Resources and Separate Revenue.
Sharma was born in Bhopal and studied at St. John's College, Agra College, Punjab University and Lucknow University. A meritorious Law student from Fitzwilliam College, Sharma was awarded the Chakravarti Gold Medal for Social Service by Lucknow University.
He later worked at the Cambridge University and Lucknow University. During his tenure in these universities, he was awarded a fellowship at the Harvard Law school and was elected Honorary Bencher and Master of Lincoln's Inn and Honorary Fellow, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.
An active member of the Indian National Congress, Sharma chaperoned the movement against the Nawab of Bhopal who expressed his wish to retain the princely state.
He was arrested in 1948 on charges of leading a public agitation against the Nawab. He also served jail for violating restrictions on public meetings. He was later released under public pressure and the Nawab was forced to sign the agreement for merger with the Indian Union on 30 April 1949.
After attaining various political posts in Maharashtra and Punjab, he was elected for a 5-year term as the vice-president of India and the Chairman of Rajya Sabha. He served as the Vice-President until 1992 when he was elected as the President.
Sharma suffered from ill health in the last five years of his life. But on 26 December 1999, he suffered a massive heart attack and was admitted to a hospital in New Delhi. where he breathed his last.