Kenneth Franklin Kiple was born on 29 January 1939, in Waterloo, Iowa he is the son of Frank K. (a book company executive) and Jane (a librarian) Kiple.
His father was in the Royal Air Force which meant much moving during and after the war. He did his undergraduate work at the University of South Florida (B.A., 1965), and earned a PhD (1970) in Latin American History and a PhD certificate in Latin American Studies at the University of Florida. He has taught at Bowling Green since 1970 and became a University Professor in 1994. His research interests have included biological history applied to slave trade and slavery, the history of disease, and more recently, food and nutrition. He is the author of approximately 50 articles and chapters, three monographs, and the editor of five edited volumes including the Cambridge World History of Disease, and (with K.C. Ornelas) The Cambridge World History of Food, in two volumes. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, and received other grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Library of Medicine, the National Endowments for the Humanities, Tools Division, and two HEH Fellowships, the Earhart Foundation. the Milbank Memorial Fund, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Rockefeller Archives, the American Philosophical Society, The Social Sciences Research Council and Fulbright-Hays.
Historian, educator, and writer, University of Florida, Gainesville, instructor in social science, 1969-70; Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, assistant professor, 1970-77, associate professor, 1978-80, professor of history, 1981-94, distinguished university professor, 1994—. He is also a member of American Association for the History.
He first married Kriemhild Conèe and had daughters - Kim Maria, Kelly Jean, Carrie Rebecca and a son Graham Kenneth. In his second marriage he had daughter Natascha.