personal and professional background
Rajiv Gandhi was born on 20 August 1944 in Mumbai into the most famous and influential political family of the country. Jawaharlal Nehru was his maternal grandfather, who was the first Prime Minister of India and an aide of Mahatma Gandhi in the freedom struggle. Feroze Gandhi, his father, was a young member of the Indian National Congress and met Indira and her mother Kamala Nehru in Allahabad and befriended them while working for the party and later married Indira Gandhi. After Independence, the family settled in Lucknow and Feroze Gandhi started working as an editor of a newspaper called National Herald, that was founded by Motilal Nehru. Rajiv Gandhi later moved with his mother and younger brother to their grandfather Jawaharlal Nehrus residence in 1949. Relations between his parents strained slowly and further deteriorated when Feroze Gandhi challenged corruption within the party leadership over the scandal of Haridas Mundra. The family reconciled after Feroze Gandhi suffered a heart attack in 1958. Feroze Gandhi died of a second heart attack in 1960.
Rajiv Gandhi completed his schooling from the Welham Boys School and the Doon School in Dehradun. In 1961 he went to London to study Alevels. He then joined Trinity College of Cambridge for an engineering course but did not complete the degree course and left in 1965. He then joined Imperial College in London in 1966 but left the place a year later without the degree. He started working as a professional pilot for Indian Airlines. He married Sonia Gandhiin 1968, who was originally an Italian and worked as a waitress in the Varsity Restaurant, a Greek restaurant in the city of Cambridge. They had their first child Rahul Gandhi in 1970 and their Second child Priyanka Gandhi in 1972.