Harivansh Rai Bachchan
- Category : 1907-births
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Sleeping Phoenix 4
Noted Indian poet of the Nayi Kavita literary movement (romantic upsurge) of early 20th century Hindi literature. He studied at the Allahabad University and Banaras Hindu University. In this period, he came under the influence of the independence movement, then under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. From 1941 to 1952 he taught in the English Department at the Allahabad University and after that he spent the next two years at St Catharine's College, Cambridge, Cambridge University doing his doctoral thesis on W.B. Yeats. It was then, that he used 'Bachchan' as his last name instead of Srivastava. Harivanshrai's thesis got him his PhD at Cambridge. He is the second Indian to get his doctorate in English literature from Cambridge. After returning to India he again took to teaching and also served at All India Radio, Allahabad.
In 1926, at the age of 19, Bachchan married his first wife, Shyama, who was then 14 years old. However she died ten years later in 1936 after a long spell of TB at just 24 years of age. Bachchan again married, Teji Bachchan, in 1941. They had two sons, Amitabh (who became a famous actor) and Ajitabh.
Bachchan died on 18 January 2003, at the age of 95, as a result of various respiratory ailments.