Kenneth David Kaunda, also known as KK, served as the first President of Zambia, from 1964 to 1991.
Kaunda is the youngest of eight children born to an ordained Church of Scotland missionary and teacher. He followed his father's steps in becoming a teacher.
He was at the forefront of the struggle for independence from European rule. Dissatisfied with Nkumbula's leadership of the African National Congress, he broke away and founded the Zambian African National Congress, later becoming the head of the United National Independence Party. He was the first President of the independent Zambia.
From 1968, all political parties except UNIP were banned. At the same time, Kaunda oversaw the acquisition of majority stakes in key foreign-owned companies. The oil crisis of 1973 and a slump in export revenues put Zambia in a state of economic crisis.
Kaunda's logistical support for black nationalist movements in Rhodesia, South West Africa, Angola and Mozambique, aggravated economic problems. His vocal backing of these movements further burdened Zambia, since the white regimes were the country's main trading partners.
International pressure forced Kaunda to change the rules that had kept him in power. Multi-party elections took place in 1991, in which Frederick Chiluba, the leader of the Movement for Multiple Democracy, ousted Kaunda.