July | Wednesday | 29, 2015 :: In History Today :: Birth of JRD Tata
Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata (29 July 1904 – 29 November 1993) was a French-born Indian aviator and business tycoon. He was the Chairman of Tata Sons. He became India’s first licensed pilot in 1929. In 1983, he was awarded the French Legion of Honour and, in 1992, India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna.
J. R. D. Tata was born on 29 July 1904 in Paris, France, the second child of Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata and his French wife, Suzanne “Sooni” Brière. His father was a first cousin of Jamsetji Tata, a pioneer industrialist in India. He had one elder sister Sylla, a younger sister Rodabeh and two younger brothers Darab and Jimmy Tata. As his mother was French, he spent much of his childhood in France and as a result, French was his first language. He attended the Janson De Sailly School in Paris. One of the teachers at that school used to call him L’Egyptian for some strange reason. Tata also served in the French Foreign Legion for one year in the regiment Le Saphis during the Second World War. After he left the service the whole regiment perished on an expedition in Morocco.