K. Jana Krishnamurthi was born on 24 May 1928, in Madurai City (Tamil Nadu) in a lawyer's family. He was the fourth generation lawyer. He studied in Madurai and graduated taking Economics as main, History as subsidiary and politics as a special subject. He was a product of Law College, Chennai and successfully practised law in Madurai for 12 years.
He joined RSS in 1940 when it was started in Madurai and completed his three-year training by 1945. He functioned like a Pracharak of Madurai City till 1951, when he lost his father. He was very active in RSS and rose to be the Pranth Baudhik Pramukh of Tamil Nadu.
Joined Bharatiya Jana Sangh in 1965 at the desire of the then Chief of RSS Guruji Golwalkar as State Secretary of the Party. In 1968 gave up his lucrative law practice and became a full-timer in BJS at the call of Shri Vajpayee ji in the aftermath of the murder of Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya. Thereafter, he was BJS General Secretary (organisation) of Tamil Nadu.
In 1975 when the emergency was declared he was Secretary of the resistance movement in Tamil Nadu. In 1977 when BJS merged in Janata Party he was a regular member of National Executive of Janata Party and General Secretary of that Party's Tamil Nadu unit. At the formation of BJP in 1980, he was one of the founder secretaries of BJP. In 1983, he became one of the General Secretaries and from 1985 as Vice-President of the Party.
From 1980 to 1990, he was incharge of Southern four states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh looking after the building up of the party work.
In 1993 came over to Delhi at the request of Shri L.K. Advani and was incharge of Intellectual Cells, the Economic, Defence, Foreign Affairs etc. From 1995 onwards was in charge of Head Quarters. He was also the spokesperson of the Party.
On March 14, 2001, he became President of BJP and continued till June 30, 2002.
He was a recognised orator of his college and participated in intercollegiate debates and won prizes. His oratory in Tamil and English are well known. He was an excellent translator from English and Hindi to Tamil and has translated the speeches of RSS leaders and leaders like Shri Atalji, Shri Advaniji, late Jagannathrao Joshi and others.