Kuppali Venkatappa Puttappa aka Kuvempu graduated from the Maharaja College of Mysore, having majored in Kannada. He would begin his academic career there as a lecturer, and after a stint at a Bengaluru university, return to Maharaja College as a professor in 1946. He became principal of the college less than a decade later, and when he retired in 1960, it was as the vice-chancellor of Mysore University.
Throughout his time in academia, Kuvempu also wrote prolifically. He published 25 collections of poetry, two novels, in addition to biographies, literary criticism, story collections, essays and about 10 plays. His epics Sri Ramayana Darshanam (in two volumes) and Chitrangada and his autobiography (Nenapina Doniyali; published in 1980) remain among his noted works. Kuvempu won the Jnanpith Award for Sri Ramayana Darshanam, the first Kannada writer to receive the honour. He was also only the second Kannada poet to be named 'rashtrakavi' in 1958. Apart from these, he was conferred several other honours, including the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Karnataka Ratna. Kuvempu passed away in 1994, aged 89.
Kuvempu wrote his first-ever poetry collection in English; most of his other works that followed were written in Kannada. He remained a lifelong advocate for the language, especially as a medium of instruction in state educational institutions. He was also a staunch champion of gender equality, anti-casteism and anti-superstition. Arguably the greatest of them all and that’s the reason why google honoured with a doodle on his 113th birth anniversary.