From 1977 until 1979, this Indian National Congress-turned-Janata Party politician served as India's fifth Prime Minister. Previously, he had served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.
He became a civil servant upon his graduation from Wilson College, Mumbai. He subsequently served as Home Minister of the Bombay Presidency and joined the Indian Independence Movement.
He lived to be ninety-nine years old.
He was born into an Anavil Brahmin caste family. His marriage to Gujraben Desai produced a son named Kanti Desai.
He closely allied himself with the principles of Mahatma Gandhi.