Ram Nath Kovind was born on 1 October 1945 in Paraukh village in the Kanpur Dehat district, Uttar Pradesh. His father Maikulal was a landless Kori who ran a small shop to support his family. He was the youngest of five brothers and two sisters. He was born in a mud hut, which eventually collapsed. He was only five when his mother died of burns when their thatched dwelling caught fire. Kovind later donated the land to the community.
After graduating in law from DAV College, Kanpur, Kovind went to Delhi to prepare for the civil services examination. He passed this exam on his third attempt, but he did not join because he had only scored high enough to work in an allied service rather than of IAS and thus started practicing law.
Kovind enrolled as an advocate in 1971 with the bar council of Delhi. He was Central Government Advocate in the Delhi High Court from the year 1977 to the year 1979. Between 1977 & 1978, he also served as the personal assistant of Prime Minister of India Morarji Desai