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Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata (July 29, 1904November 29, 1993) was a pioneer aviator and important businessman of Indiamarker. He was awarded India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna in 1992 .

Early life and education

J.R.D. Tata was born in Parismarker, Francemarker, the second child of Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata and his French wife, Suzanne "Sooni" Brière. His father was a first cousin of Jamsedji Tata, a pioneer industrialist in India. 'Jeh', or 'JRD' as he was commonly known, came to be regarded as the most famous industrial pioneer in modern India. As his mother was French, he spent much of his childhood in Francemarker and as a result, French was his first language. Tata also attended the French Foreign Legion. He attended the Cathedral and John Connon School, Bombay (now Mumbaimarker).

He did not continue beyond matriculation as mentioned in his biography, by Mr R M Lala.

Business and industry

J.R.D. Tata was inspired early by aviation pioneer Louis Blériot, and took to flying. In 1929 Tata got the first pilot license issued in India. He later came to be known as the father of Indian civil aviation. He founded India's first commercial airline, 'Tata Airlines', in 1932, which in 1946 became Air India, now India's national airline.

At the age of 34, he became Chairman of Tata Sons, the holding Company of the Tata Group.For decades, J R D directed the huge Tata Group of companies, with major interests in Steel, Engineering, Power,Chemicals and Hospitality. He was famous for succeeding in business while maintaining high ethical standards - refusing to bribe politicians or use the black market.Under J R D's Chairmanship, the number of companies in the Tata Group, grew from 15 to over 100. Monetarily, the assets of Tata group grew from Rs 620 Million to over Rs 100 Billion.

Awards and recognition

He was awarded the Legion d'honneur, by the French Government in 1954. In 1979, Tata was the recipient of the Tony Jannus Award for his distinguished contributions to commercial aviation. He also received the prestigious Guggenheim Medal for aviation in 1988. He was conferred India's highest civilian award Bharat Ratna in 1992 for his service to industry and nation building. In the same year, he was also bestowed with the United Nations Population Award for his crusading endeavors towards initiating and successfully implementing the family planning movement in India, much before it became an official government policy.

Death

He died in Genevamarker, Switzerlandmarker in 1993 at the age of 89. He is buried at Père Lachaise Cemeterymarker in Paris.

References

  1. A report in Vohuman.org
  2. http://www.tatacentralarchives.com/NLP/JRD%2520Tata.PDF
  3. http://www.tatacentralarchives.com/history/family_tree/family_tree.pdf




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