Biju Patnaik or Bijayananda Patnaik was born in Cuttack, Orissa on March 5, 1916. After studying Aeronautics at the Aeronautical Training Institute of India, he started his career with Indian National Airways.
He was imprisoned until 1945 due to his participation in the Quit India Movement. He had also plunged headlong into the Nepalese Democratic Movement and Indonesia’s struggle for independence from the Dutch. He flew out the then Indonesian Prime Minister Sultan Sjahrir to Singapore, and then to Delhi where Sjahrir met Jawaharlal Nehru. After independence, the grateful Indonesian government subsequently conferred its highest civilian award, Bhumi Putra to him. He served as the Chief Minister of Orissa from 1961 to 1963 and again from 1990-1995. He was a member of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
He was involved with many projects like the Paradip Port, the Orissa Aviation Centre, Bhubaneswar Airport, the Cuttack-Jagatpur Mahanadi highway bridge, and many others. He passed away in New Dehli on April 17, 1997. He founded the Kalinga Prize, which UNESCO has been conferring for excellence in the field of science.