1. He was born on 11 December, 1935 in Mirati, Bengal Presidency, British India (present-day Birbhum district, West Bengal, India) to Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee (father) and Rajlakshmi Mukherjee (mother). During the Indian Independence movement, his father played an active role and was also a member of the West Bengal Legislative Council during 1952-1964 as an Indian National Congress representative.
2. He did his schooling from Suri Vidyasagar College, Suri. He did his Masters in Political Science and History from the University of Calcutta. He earned his LLB degree from the same university.
3. Before joining the politics, he served as an upper-division Clerk in the Office of deputy Accountant-General, Calcutta. As an Assistant Professor of Political Science, he joined Vidyanagar College, Kolkata in 1963. And as a journalist, he also worked for Desher Dak (Call for Motherland).
4. He entered into the politics in 1969 and managed the election campaign of V.K Krishna Menon, an independent candidate. Do you know he was the only minister who held most of the major ministerial portfolios in the cabinet: commerce (1993–95), external affairs (1995–96 and 2006–09), defense (2004–06), and finally back to finance (2009–12).
5. Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, recognised the talent of the former President Pranab Mukherjee at that time and offered him to join the Congress. She helped him in 1969, to become a member of the Upper House of the Parliament (Rajya Sabha). He was re-elected to Rajya Sabha in 1975, 1981, 1993, and 1999.
6. Do you know that he was the only Finance Minister to have presented seven budgets? He was voted as the Best Finance Minister in the World in 1984 by the Euromoney magazine.
7. National Honours received by him are Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian award in 2008, and Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award in 2019.
8. He had written more than 9 books and few of them are Midterm Poll, Off the Track (1987), The saga of Struggle and Sacrifice (1992), Congress and the Making of the Indian Nation (2011), The Dramatic Decade: The Indira Gandhi Years (2014), The Turbulent Years, The Coalition Years, etc.
9. 3 Foreign Honours received by him are Bangladesh Muktijuddho Sanmanona– Bangladesh Liberation War Honour (March 2013), and Cross of National Order of the Ivory Coast– highest state order of knighthood of the Ivory Coast (June 2016), and Grand Collar of the Order of Makarios II– highest order of Merit awarded by Cyprus.
10. Other recognitions received by him are Finance Minister of Year for Asia (2010) – Emerging Markets, the daily newspaper of record for World Bank and IMF, Finance Minister of Year (2010) by the Banker and Honorary Citizenship of Abidjan, the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire in June 2016. He had also received several academic honours.