BORN: Karachi, 1928
EDUCATION: St. Patrick's Missionary High School, Karachi. Law degree, Bombay University.
EARLY POLITICS: At 14, joined the right-wing RSS movement--which was banned after a party member assassinated Gandhi in 1948. Co-founded the Hindu-nationalist BJP in 1980.
CAREER: BJP general secretary and then president for 10 years. Information & Broadcasting Minister, 1977-79; Home Minister since 1997. Appointed Deputy Prime Minister on June 29.
FAMILY: His daughter is a TV journalist in Delhi. His son runs a Delhi cardboard-carton business.
Data: BJP, BusinessWeek