Muthuvel Karunanidhi was born as Dakshinamurthy in Thirukuvalai in Tiruvarur, India, on 3 June 1924 to Muthuvel and Anjugam. He has claimed that the secret of his energy and success lies in the daily practice of yoga. He married three times. He has donated his house, that is to be converted into a free hospital for the poor after his wife Dayalu’s death. On 5 October 2012, He changed his attire from white shirt with yellow shawl to black shirt and he stated that he would continue to wear black in the days to come as a mark of protest against the AIADMK government.
Karunanidhi began his career as a screenwriter in the Tamil film industry. Karunanidhi is known for his contributions to Tamil literature. His contributions cover a wide range: poems, letters, screenplays, novels, biographies, historic novels, stageplays, dialogues and movie songs. He has written Kuraloviam for Thirukural, Tholkaappiya Poonga, Poombukar, as well as many poems, essays and books.
Karunanidhi entered politics at the age of 14, inspired by a speech by Alagiriswamii of the Justice Party, and participated in Anti-Hindi agitations.He founded a student organisation called Tamil Nadu Tamil Manavar Mandram, which was the first student wing of the Dravidan Movement. Karunanidhi involved himself and the student community in social work with other members. Here he started a newspaper for its members, which grew into Murasoli, the DMK party’s official newspaper. Karunanidhi was first elected to the Tamil Nadu assembly in 1957 from the Kulithalai assembly of Thiruchirapalli district. He became the DMK treasurer in 1961 and deputy leader of opposition in the state assembly in the year 1962 and when the DMK came to power in 1967, he became the minister for public works. He has been the leader of the DMK since the death of its founder, C. N. Annadurai, in 1969. He holds the record of winning his seat in every election in which he has participated, in a political career spanning more than 60 years. In the 2004 Lok Sabha Elections, he led the DMK-led DPA (UPA and Left Parties) in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to win all 40 Lok Sabha seats.
He took over as chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on 13 May 2006 after his coalition defeated his main opponent J. Jayalalithaa in the May 2006 elections. He currently] represents the constituency of Tiruvarur in the Tamil Nadu state Legislative Assembly. He has been elected to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly 12 times and once to the now abolished Tamil Nadu Legislative Council. In the 2011 Election the party badly lost the elections reasons being Karunanidhi inaction during the Last Phase of War in Sri Lanka which led to the killing of Hundred of Thousands of Tamil people in Tamil Eelam(Sri Lanka).
He is called by his supporters as Kalaignar (“artist”).