Prof Kannappan was born on Dec 26, 1934 in Coimbatore to Capt Dr JS Gangadharan&Shenbagavalli. The fourth son amongst eight brothers, he received his basic education from St Joseph’s College, Trichy before pursuing dentistry at the prestigious Madras Dental College. Having secured his Masters in Dental Surgery in Orthodontia &Pedodontia from GS Nair Dental College, Mumbai he was the recipient of the LiverhumeFellowship in the United Kingdom. A pioneer in Ambulatory dentistry he travelled all over Tamilnadu in a mobile dental clinic.
He rose up the ranks in the Tamilnadu Medical / Dental Service and served as the Dean, Madras Dental College and eventually appointed Professor Emeritus by the Tamilnadu Dr MGR Medical University, Chennai. He has been the recipient of numerous awards from Tamilnadu state, various national and international organisations. Ofnote are the Dr BC Roy National Award in 1982, the HD Gupta Award in 1989, the Hari Om Ashram Alembic Research Award in 1992 and the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Tamilnadu Dr MGR Medical University in 2010. He has authored several books in Dentistry in addition to major contributions to tamil literature.
His most major contributions have been in training countless undergraduate and postgraduate dental students in various capacities and furthering the cause of dentistry, orthodontics, forensic odontology and dental research. He has thus headed various organizations including the Indian Orthodontic Society, Indian society of Forensic Odontology and Indian Society of Dental Research. He is survived by his wife, Mrs VasukiKannappan, MA, MPhil and 3 children = Mrs Selvi, Nutritionist & Dietician, Dr JK GangadharaSundar, a leading Orbitofacial Surgeon based at the National University Hospital in Singapore and Dr JK Thiruchelvan, a Maxillo-facial Surgeon based in the UK. His loss is deeply mourned by the various dental fraternities in India and various literary and spiritual societies in Tamilnadu.