Born on August 12, 1948, in Siddaramanahundi village of Mysore district, K Siddaramaiah belongs to the Kuruba community, the third largest in Karnataka.
According to village tradition, his father dedicated him to Siddarameshwara temple, where he spent two years learning folk art besides alphabets and tables.
The first graduate of his village, Siddaramaiah taught law for two years before unsuccessfully contesting for a Mysore Lok Sabha seat. He made his assembly debut from Chamundeshwari on a Lok Dal ticket in 1983.
He was deputy chief minister of the state twice, first during Janata Dal rule in 1996 and in 2004 when the Janata Dal (Secular) led by his mentor HD Deve Gowda formed a coalition government with Congress.
In 2006, after differences with Deve Gowda, he joined the Congress.