G Shankara Kurup
(1901 -1978)

G. Sankara Kurup, better known as Mahakavi G, was the first winner of the Jnanpith Award. He was born in Nayathode, Ernakulam, Kerala. He won the prize in 1965 for his collection of poems in Malayalam Odakkuzhal. With part of the prize money he established the literary award Odakkuzhal in 1968. He was also the recipient of the Soviet Land Nehru Award, in 1967, and the Padma Bhushan in 1968. After completing his education, Kurup worked as the Malayalam teacher in a secondary school in Thiruvillwamala in 1921. Later he became a teacher in the Government Secondary Teacher Training Institute near Trichur. He worked as the Malayalam Pandit in Maharaja's College, Ernakulam, and retired as Professor of Malayalam from the College in 1956. Mahakavi G died on 2 February 1978.