JRD was born is Paris, France to RD Tata and his French wife, Suzanne (Sooni). JRD Tata was the second son of Ratanji Dadabhoy (RD) Tata. RD was the first cousin and a business partner of the famous Indian industrialist Jamsetji Tata. He spent his childhood in France as his mother was from France.
He had one elder sister, one younger sister and two younger brothers. RD moved his family to India after his wife died at the age of 43. JRD completed his studies from France, England, Japan, and India. After completing his studies he had to join French Army for a mandatory period of one year. He wanted to continue his services but eventually, he had to leave. JRD joined the TATA Company and in 1929, became an Indian Citizen. In 1930, JRD married Thelma Vicaji. But the couple had no children.
After his father passed away, JRD was made the chairman of the Tata and sons company. Since then the company has never looked back. JRD was the person who formed aviation department on the company and named it as Tata Airline which eventually became Air India in 1946. In 1945, JRD established Tata Motors in a joint venture with Germany’s Daimler-Benz. Tata Motors ruled the commercial vehicle segment for a good number of years before entering into passenger vehicle segment. During his tenure and under his great leadership the company grew many fold to more than US Dollar 5 billion in assets. JRD served the Tata group for more than 50 years.