Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was an Indian politician from Andhra Pradesh. He served as the sixth President of India from 1977 to 1982. He was elected to this post without any opposition. He succeeded Basappa Danappa Jatti as the President of India. During his tenure he saw three Prime Ministers of India, Morarji Desai, Charan Singh, and Indira Gandhi.
He was born on 19th May 1913 in Illur village of Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh. He studied in the High School of Theosophical Society Adyar in Madras. After finishing his school education, he joined Government Arts College at Anantapur to continue his higher studies. In July 1929, Mahatma Gandhi visited Anantapur and this marked a turning point in his life. He was greatly influenced by the thoughts, words and actions of Mahatma Gandhi. He took to Khadi from that time onwards. He quitted his studies and joined Indian Independence Movement.
He joined Indian National Congress in 1931. In 1946 he was elected to the Madras Legislative Assembly and later became the Secretary of the Madras Congress Legislature Party. He became the member of the Indian Constituent Assembly in 1947. He served as the Minister for Prohibition, Housing and Forests in Madras state from 1949 to 1951. In 1951 he became the President of the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee. He was elected to Rajya Sabha in 1952.
In October 1956 he became the first Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and again served in this position from 1962 to 1964. He was appointed as the member of the Union Cabinet on 9th June 1964 as the Minister of Steel and Mines. He was elected to Rajya Sabha again in November 1964. From January 1966 to March 1967 he served as the Union Minister of Transport, Civil Aviation, Shipping and Tourism. He contested in the Hindupur constituency of Andhra Pradesh and won in the election and started to serve as the member of Lok Sabha. He was made the Speaker of Lok Sabha on 17th March 1967.
He reentered politics in 1975 and was made the Speaker of Lok Sabha on 26th March 1977. He was elected as the President of India in July 1977 and the youngest President of India to date. He received Honorary Doctor of Laws from Sri Venkateswara Universtiy in Tirupathi in 1958. He died in Bangalore on 1st June 1996.
Updated : January 14, 2013