Shankar Dayal Sharma Biography

Shankar Dayal Sharma, an Indian political leader and the ninth President of India, had a remarkable career in politics. He began as a lawyer and actively participated in the freedom movement against the British. After India gained independence, he ventured into state politics and served as the Chief Minister of Bhopal. Sharma’s political journey also included being the President of the Indian National Congress and serving as Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, and Maharashtra. Additionally, he held ministerial positions in various ministries in the union cabinet.

Quick Facts

  • Indian Celebrities Born In August Died At Age: 81
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Vimala Sharma
    • Father: Khushilal Sharma
    • Mother: Subhadra Sharma
    • Siblings: Sadhu Ram Sharma, Shambu Dayal Sharma
    • Children: Ashutosh Dayal Sharma, Gitanjali Maken, Satish Dayal Sharma
  • Born Country: India
  • Presidents
  • Political Leaders
  • Died on: December 26, 1999
  • Place of death: New Delhi
  • Cause of Death: Heart Attack
  • More Facts
  • Education:
    • Allahabad University
    • Harvard Law School
    • Harvard University
    • University of Cambridge
    • Agra College
    • Fitzwilliam College
    • University of Lucknow
    • St. John’s College; Agra
    • Panjab University

Childhood & Early Life

Shankar Dayal Sharma was born on August 19, 1918, in Bhopal, Bhopal State, British India. He attended ‘Government Hamidiya Boys School,’ Bhopal, and later graduated from ‘Agra University’ and the ‘University of Lucknow.’ He was an excellent athlete during his youth, excelling in swimming and rowing. He also obtained his Ph.D. in law from the ‘University of Cambridge’ and attended ‘Lincoln’s Inn’ and ‘Harvard University’ for further studies. He started practicing as a lawyer in Lucknow in 1940 and also joined the national movement for independence.

Post Independence

After India gained independence from the British in 1947, Sharma became active in the politics of independent India. He played a crucial role in opposing the Nawab of Bhopal’s resistance to acceding the princely state of Bhopal to the Indian union. He served as the president of the Bhopal Congress Committee and later became the chief minister of Bhopal. He worked towards abolishing the feudal system and played a significant role in the creation of the state of Bhopal. Sharma also served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly in Madhya Pradesh and held several ministerial positions, including education, law, public works, and industry & commerce.

National Politics

Sharma supported Indira Gandhi during the power struggle for the top position of the Indian National Congress in the 1960s. He entered national politics in 1971 and became a member of the parliament from Bhopal. He served as the Union Minister for Communications and represented India at international conferences. Sharma also served as the governor of Andhra Pradesh, Punjab & administrator of Chandigarh, and Maharashtra. He was elected as the eighth Vice President of India and later became the ninth President of India.

Family, Personal Life & Death

Sharma was married to Vimala Sharma and had three children. In the last few years of his life, he suffered from severe health issues and passed away on December 26, 1999.


Sharma’s last rites were held at Karma Bhumi, one of the memorials of eminent Indian personalities near Raj Ghat. The ‘Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma Gold Medal’ was instituted to honor the best graduating students of various universities in India. He was also an author and poet, with some of his works gaining popularity. Sharma received numerous honors and recognition for his contributions to society.


Sharma’s daughter and son-in-law were killed by Khalistani activists.

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