Rajendra Prasad (rəjĕn´drə prəsäd´), 1884–1963, first president of India. Before entering politics, he taught English literature, history, economics, and law. In 1917 he began working with Mohandas K. Gandhi, and in 1920 he joined the Indian National Congress and was several times (1934, 1939, 1947–48) its president. He was imprisoned (1942–45) for supporting the Congress opposition to the British war effort in World War II. Prasad became president of India in 1950, when the republic of India was proclaimed, and held that office until 1962. His many writings include his autobiography (tr. 1958) and At the Feet of Mahatma Gandhi (1961).