He was born on 8th February, 1897 at Hyderabad. His father’s name was Fida Husain Khan.
He got his early education in Islamia High School in Etawah U.P. After that he joined the M.A.O. College at Aligarh and studied up to M.A. He received doctorate in Economics in 1926 from the University of Berlin.
He prepared Wardha Scheme of education. He took charge of this scheme in 1938. He was the President of the Hindustani Talimi Sangh, Sevagram, from 1938 to 1948. He remained Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia, Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University.
It was Dr. Zakir Hussain who persuaded Hakim Ajmal Khan and other leaders to establish a National Institute for education at Aligarh and Jamia Millia Islamia came up in 1920.
He became the Governor of Bihar (1957-62) and was the Vice-President of India from 1962-67.
In 1967, he became the President of India. He was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1954 and Bharat Ratna in 1963.
In 1969, on 3rd May he breathed his last while serving as the President.