|Born||21 June 1912|
Miranpur, United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, British India
|Died||11 April 2009 (aged 96)|
New Delhi, India
|Occupation||Novelist, writer, journalist|
|Genre||fiction, novels, non-fiction, essays|
|Notable works||Ardhanarishwar, Aawara Masiha|
Vishnu Prabhakar (21 June 1912 – 11 April 2009) was a Hindi writer. He had several short stories, novels, plays and travelogues to his credit. Prabhakar's works have elements of patriotism, nationalism and messages of social upliftment. He was the First Sahitya Academy Award winner from Haryana. 
He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1993, Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan Award in 1995 and the Padma Bhushan (the third highest civilian honour of India) by the Government of India in 2004.
Along with his work he pursued an interest in literature. He also joined a Natak company in Hissar. His literary life started with the publication of his first story Diwali in the Hindi Milap in 1931. He wrote Hatya Ke Baad, his first play in 1939. Eventually he began writing as a full-time career. He stayed with the family of his maternal uncle until the age of twenty seven. He married Sushila Prabhakar in 1938 who stayed as an inspiration source for his literature until her death in 1980.
After Indian Independence he worked as a drama director, from September 1955 to March 1957, in Akashvani, All India Radio, New Delhi. He made news when in 2005 he threatened to return his Padma Bhushan award after he allegedly had to face misconduct at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Vishnu Prabhakar died at the age of 96, on 11 April 2009 after a brief illness in New Delhi. He was suffering from a heart problem and infection of the urinary tract. His wife, Sushila Prabhakar, had died in 1980. Prabhakar is survived by two sons and two daughters. His sons Atul Prabhakar and Amit Prabhakar decided to donate his body to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi as their father's last wishes.
He became 'Vishnu Prabhakar' from 'Vishnu'; his name was listed as 'Vishnu Dayal' in the primary school of Mirapur. In the Arya Samaj school, on being asked the 'Varna', he answered – 'Vaishya'. The teacher put down his name as 'Vishnu Gupta'. When he joined government service, the officers changed his name to 'Vishnu Dharmadutt' because there were many 'Guptas' in the office and it confused the officers. He continued writing by the pen name of 'Vishnu'. Once an editor asked, "Why do you use such a short name? Have you passed any examination?" Vishnu answered that he had passed 'Prabhakar' examination in Hindi. Thus the editor appended Prabhakar to his name making it 'Vishnu Prabhakar'.