P Chidambaram was born on 16th September 1945 in Kanadukathan, Sivagangai district, Tamilnadu. His parents are Kandanur L.Ct.L. Palaniappa Chettiar and Lakshmi Achi. He has two brothers and a sister. Chidambaram's mother Lakshmi is the daughter of Sir Annamalai Chettiyar, the founder of Annamalai University. He is the one, who founded the United India Insurance Company Limited too. Annamalai Chettiyar’s brother Ramaswamy Chettiyar is the founder of Indian Bank and he co-founded some other leading banks too. Chidambaram did his schooling in Madras Christian College Higher Secondary School and the PUC in Loyola College, Chennai. He did his Statistics degree in Chennai Presidency College.
Chidambaram did his graduation in Law in Madras Law College. He also holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School. Chidambaram’s father had a lot of businesses including plantations, textiles and trading. However, PC stayed away from it and practiced law. Chidambaram is married to Nalini, who is the daughter of retired justice PS Kailasam and Soundara Kailasam, a popular poet. Nalini Chidambaram is an advocate, who practices in Madras High Court and the Supreme Court. The couple has a son, Karti Chidambaram, who is married to Srinidhi Rangarajan, a medical practitioner and a classical dancer. Chidambaram worked in Madras High Court and had offices in Madras and Delhi after becoming a senior lawyer in the year 1984. He had also practiced in Supreme Court.
P Chidambaram was the Tamilnadu Youth Congress President. In 1984, he contested in the Lok Sabha elections from Sivaganga constituency. He became the Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Commerce in 1985 and also served in the Ministry of Personnel. In 1986, he was appointed in the Ministry of Home Affairs as Minister of State for Internal Security. In 1991, Chidambaram became the Commerce Minister during the reign of PV Narasimha Rao. In 1996, Chidambaram resigned from Congress Party and joined Tamil Maanila Congress.
In 1996, a coalition government was formed and PC was the Finance Minister. Although the government didn’t exist for long, the budget by Chidambaram is still a Dream Budget. In 2001, he quit Tamil Maanila Congress and formed a party, Congress Jananayaga Peravai. In 2004, Chidambaram merged his party with Congress and in the same year, after winning the election,
Manmohan Singh made him the Finance Minister. In 2008, PC became the
Home Minister, after Shivraj Patil, resigned his post. In 2014, P Chidambaram was elected as one of the 13 senior spokespeople of Congress.