V.V. Giri Biography

Varahagiri Venkata Giri, also popularly known as V.V.Giri was born into a Telugu-speaking nationalist family on August 10, 1894 at Berhampur (presently in Orissa) in the former Presidency of Madras. He was a prominent Congress leader and served as the fourth President of India from August 24, 1969 to August 23, 1974.

In the year 1913, Giri went to University College, Dublin for studying law. There, he became acquainted with many famous personalities. On his return to India, he became an active participant in the Labour Movement and became the General Secretary and President of the All-India Railwaymen’s Federation. He also served as the President of the All India Trade Union Congress for two terms.

In 1936,V.V. Giri contested the General Elections from the Madras constituency and won the elections. In 1937, he became the Minister of Labour and Industries in the Congress Government formed by C.Rajagopalachari in the Madras Presidency. He took part in the Quit India Movement as well, and was jailed.

After India gained independence from the British, V.V. Giri was appointed as the High Commissioner to Ceylon. In 1957, V.V. Giri headed a team of prominent public personalities and academicians to establish The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE).

V.V. Giri served as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh (1957-1960), Kerala (1960-1965) and Mysore (1965-1967) before becoming the President of India in 1967 after the death of Zakir Hussain.

He was a great orator and a prolific writer and was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1975.