Kocheril Raman Narayanan, better known as K R Narayanan, was born on October 27, 1920 in Uzhavoor village, Kottayam District
. Shri Narayanan stood first in the M.A. English Literature examination of the University of Travancore. Later, he took his B.Sc degree from the London School of Economics with First Class Honours, specializing in Political Science.
Shri Narayanan started his career as a Lecturer in the University of Travancore. Later he took up journalism and worked with The Hindu and Times of India. Shri Narayanan joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1949 and served the Indian Embassies in Rangoon, Tokyo, London, Canberra and Hanoi. For a time, he taught Economic Administration at Delhi School of Economics and was also the Joint Director of the Orientation Centre for Foreign Technicians. He had also served as India's Ambassador to Thailand and Turkey.
After retirement from the Foreign Service in 1978, Narayanan was appointed as Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and he held the post till October 1980. After completing his term as Indian Ambassador to USA, he entered politics and won three successive General Elections in 1984, 1989 and 1991 from his Parliament Constituency of Ottapalam in Kerala. He was a Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) from 1985 to 1992.
Shri Narayanan was elected Vice-President of India and served in this position from 21st August, 1992. He assumed the office of the President of India in July 25, 1997. He was ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) during this period.