Atal Bihari Vajpayee Fast Facts

NEW DELHI, INDIA: India's Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee gestures as he poses for photographers at his residence in New Delhi, 25 March 2004. (RAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

(CNN)Here's a look at the life of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister of India.

Birth date:
December 25, 1924
Birth place: Gwalior, India
    Birth name: Atal Bihari Vajpayee (some sources spell it Behari)
    Father: Krishna Behari, a teacher
    Mother: Krishna Devi
    Education: Victoria College (Laxmi Bai College); Dayan and Anglo-Vedic College, M.A. in Political Science
    Religion: Hindu
    Other Facts:
    Vajpayee's family is of the Brahmin caste in India.
    He is a critically acclaimed poet and admired speaker.
    He is considered a champion of women's rights and favors the eradication of the caste system.
    Vajpayee was elected to India's Lok Sabha (House of the People) a record nine times and elected to the Rajya Sabha (House of the States) two times.
    In his teens, joins Hindu nationalist group, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
    1942 -
    Detained for 24 days for activities with the RSS.
    1951 - Joins the Jana Sangh, a conservative political party.
    1957 - Becomes leader of the Jana Sangh.
    1957 - Elected to the People's Assembly, or Lok Sabha.
    1962 - Elected to a six-year term in the Rajya Sabha.
    1975 - Jailed along with other dissident politicians during a declared state of emergency.
    1977 - Becomes Minister for External Affairs when the Jana Sangh Party comes into power as the Janata Party.
    1980 - Helps found and becomes president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
    1984 - Loses his seat in the People's Assembly.
    1991 - Wins a seat in the People's Assembly.
    1996 - Runs as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate. Wins but his party's government lasts only 13 days before it is ousted.
    March 19, 1998 - After the BJP assembles a winning coalition, is sworn in as prime minister.
    April 17, 1999 - Resigns after his government loses a parliamentary vote of confidence.
    October 13, 1999 - Sworn in again as prime minister after his party and its allies regain control.
    October 2000 - Undergoes knee replacement surgery.
    May 13, 2004 - Concedes the election after his party loses seats to rivals in parliamentary elections.
    December 29, 2005 - Announces his retirement from politics.
    February 2009 - Hospitalized in India with a respiratory infection that requires he be put on a ventilator.
    March 1, 2009 - Released from the hospital.
    December 25, 2014 - Vajpayee's 90th birthday is observed nationally as Good Governance Day.
    March 27, 2015 - Prime Minister Narendra Modi confers the Bharat Ratna award upon Vajpayee.