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Dictionary of World Biography
systematically. In his revolt against reason he stressed
that the great problems of men, which he identified
chiefly as dread (Angst) and anxiety, could only be
resolved by an individual search for God, whom he
saw as infinitely different in quality from man. He
rejected, therefore, all conventional, communal and
ethical religion and indeed the Christian dogma of
a historical incarnation. His major works include
Either/Or (1843), Concluding Unscientific Postscript
(1846) and his Journals. His theme that ‘truth
is subjectivity’ and his anti-Hegelian ‘existential
dialectic’, at first scarcely known outside Denmark,
profoundly influenced 20th-century thought and led
directly to existentialism.
Rohde, P., Soren Kierkegaard: An Introduction to his
Life and Philosophy. 1963.
Kiesinger, Kurt Georg (1904–1988). German
politician. A lawyer, he dropped out of the Nazi Party
after brief membership, was interned in 1945 but
never charged. A follower of *Adenauer, he became
a Bundestag member 1949–58, 1966–80, Premier of
Baden-Wurttemberg 1958–66 and Chancellor in the
CDU-SPD ‘grand coalition’ 1966–69.
Kilby, Jack St Clair (1923– ). American electrical
engineer. In 1958 he built the first microchip
(integrated circuit: IC) for Texas Instruments, soon
followed by Robert N(orton) Noyce (1927–1990)
at Intel and also invented the hand-held calculator.
In 2000 he shared the Nobel Prize for Physics with
Zhores I. Alferov and Herbert Kroemer.
Kildare, Earls of. Irish earldom, held (from 1316)
by the head of the Fitzgerald family, Gerald, 8th Earl
(known as ‘The Great’) (d.1513), took advantage of
English preoccupation with the Wars of the Roses
to build, by marriage alliances and conquest, an all
but independent domain. Though he supported the
pretender Lambert *Simnel he managed to effect a
reconciliation with *Henry VII. His son Gerald, 9th
Earl (1487–1534), for some time maintained much
of his power in face of *Henry VIII’s centralising
policy, until forced to obey a summons to London
where he was imprisoned.
Kilvert, Francis (1840–1879). English cleric and
diarist. His Diary was discovered in 1937 and edited
by William Plomer in three volumes, 1938–40.
It describes his life and environment in graphic and
sometimes humorous detail and is an important
document of social history.
Kim Dae-jung (1925–2009). Korean politician.
AÂ presidential candidate in 1971, 1987, 1992 and
1997, he was imprisoned 1976–78, 1980–82,
sentenced to death in 1980 and survived several
assassination attempts. President of the Republic of
Korea 1998–2003, he opened up dialogue with *Kim
Jong Il in North Korea and won the 2000 Nobel
Peace Prize.
Kim Il Sung (1912–1994). Korean Communist
politician and soldier. Son of a school teacher, he
probably studied in China. He founded the Fatherland
Restoration Association (1936), led guerrilla forces
against Japan in Manchuria and may have served as
a colonel at Stalingrad. After Korea’s partitioning in
1945. Russian troops occupied the North, and Kim,
Secretary-General of the Korean Workers’ Party,
became chairman of the provisional government.
On the Russian withdrawal, the Democratic Peoples’
Republic of Korea was founded and Kim was Premier
1948–72 and President 1972–94. During the Korean
war (1950–53) he commanded the armed forces
of the North and became a marshal. The DPRK
attempted an ambitious industrialisation program
after the war and Kim’s philosophy of ‘Juche’ had
the force of law. His son Kim Jong il (1942–2011)
was Supreme Commander of the Korean Peoples’
Army 1991–2011 but did not take his father’s title as
President, although confirmed as Secretary-General of
the Korean Workers’ Party in 1998. He was succeeded
by Kim Jong-un (1983/4– ), the third generation in
the family to take supreme power, hailed as a master
tactician, military leader and golfer. He held the titles
of Supreme Leader 2011– , Supreme Commander of
the Armed Forces 2011– and First Secretary of the
Korean Workers’ Party 2012– .
Kim Young Sam (1927– ). Korean politician. Leader
of the New Democratic Party 1974–97, he was kept
under house arrest for years, polled strongly in the
1987 presidential election and became President of
the Republic of Korea 1993–98, after a free election
in 1992. The Korean economy contracted as his term
ended.
King, Cecil see Harmsworth
King, Ernest Joseph (1878–1956). American fleet
admiral. After serving in the Spanish American
War and World War I, he became Vice Admiral
commanding the aircraft battle force 1938–39. This
experience was of great value for the air sea battles of
World War II, when he was Commander in Chief of
the Atlantic Fleet 1941, Commander in Chief of the
US Navy and Chief of Naval Operations 1942–45.
His mastery of strategy and supply was a major factor
in Japan’s defeat.
King, Martin Luther, Jr (1929–1968). American
clergyman and reformer, born in Atlanta, Georgia.
AÂ Baptist clergyman, he became the most successful
and powerful of American black leaders in
campaigning for civil rights. He adopted *Gandhi’s
tactics of ‘passive resistance’, organised a boycott of
segregated buses in Montgomery, Alabama in 1956
and won national recognition. Imprisoned briefly
12 times and constantly harassed by the FBI, he
led black moderates and opposed violence and
the ‘Black Muslim’ movement. He organised vast
civil rights rallies and his famous ‘I have a dream’
speech in Washington (August 1963) is of enduring
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