Kenneth R. Harding was born in Medina, New York, to Victor Hunt Harding and Edith Falk Harding on March 28, 1914. Having foregone an undergraduate degree, Harding moved straight into law school, receiving his J.D. in 1937 from The George Washington University Law School. Shortly after finishing law school, in 1938, he married his first wife, Jane Wedderburn Harding.
In 1938, Harding took a position as a bank examiner in San Francisco, California. In the years before World War II, however, he was drawn away from that work to serve with the United States Navy. After this period and a 10-year stretch in the Air Force Reserve, he retired with the rank of colonel.
After retiring from military service, Harding transitioned into political work. Following in the footsteps of his father, a political science professor at Stanford University and former regional campaign manager for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harding took a position at the Democratic National Congressional Committee, of which his father was Chief Executive. In the aftermath of his father's death, he was, having worked with the Committee for eight years, promoted to Chief Executive. In this position, which he held from 1954-1972, he distinguished himself as a leader in the Democratic campaign effort. With a reputation for knowing the situation of almost any race, he was responsible for distributing funds to candidates to support their election efforts. He served during the tenure of four House Speakers. During this time, he also took up work as the Assistant Sergeant at Arms for the House of Representatives, his father having held a similar post for two brief periods.
Upon election to the position of House Sergeant at Arms (on October 1, 1972), Harding stepped away from his role at the Democratic National Congressional Committee. In his new position, he served as the chief officer responsible for the maintenance and security of the House side of the Capitol Building and all House office buildings, serving, ex officio, as co-chief of the Capitol Police. In this role, he worked to ban self-guided tours of the Capitol Building and to prohibit vendors from setting up near the Capitol Reflecting Pool. Concurrent with these duties, he was also responsible for maintaining the decorum of the House of Representatives, greeting officials upon arrival and escorting them to the appropriate chambers. In this role, he met and worked with a large number of national and international politicians and heads of state, including the presidents in office during his tenure.
Upon retirement in February of 1980, he moved to Ormund Beach, Florida. He passed away in 2007.