Kocheril Raman Narayanan was an Indian politician, who served as the president of India from 1997 to 2002.


K. R. Narayanan was born on 27 October 1920 in Uzhavoor, Travancore, India. He was the fourth child of Kocheril Raman Vaidyar, a practitioner of Ayurveda. His family belongs to Pulaya caste, He did his B.A. (Hons.) and M.A. in English literature from the University of Travancore and became the first Dalit to obtain a degree with first-class from the University of Travancore.

After graduating from the University of Travancore, he worked as a journalist for the Hindu (1944–45) and the Times of India (1945). During this time, he interviewed the Father of the Nation, Mahatama Gandhi.

In 1994, he was awarded a Tata Scholarship of Rs. 16,000 by J. R. D. Tata to read Economics and then he left India to attend the London School of Economics. And was awarded Bachelor of Science honors in Economics with specialization in political science from the University of London. He returned to India in 1994.

Later, he joined the Indian Foreign Service on the request of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. During a long and distinguished career as a diplomat from 1949 to 1983. In 1979 he was named vice-chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University.

He was the author or co-author of several works on Indian politics and international relations, notably India and America: Essays in Understanding, 1984 and Non-Alignment in Contemporary International Relations, 1981.

In 1994, his political career was started, he served in parliament as a cabinet minister and in 1992 was named vice president. On 17 July 1997, He was elected as the tenth president of India after he defeated his sole rival, former Chief Election Commissioner T. N. Seshan, with an impressive margin of 3,991 votes of the 4,642 votes polled.

After retiring as President, he and his wife, Usha, continued to live in Delhi. He died on 9 November 2005 after a brief illness.

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