Defense attorney Robert Kardashian and wife Kris Houghton welcome their second child, Kimberly Noel, to their posh L.A. lifestyle. The growing brood already includes 1-year-old Kourtney and will add Khloé in 1984 and Robert Jr. in 1987. By pre-school, Kim is palling around with Paris Hilton, and by 1994, her father is in the media spotlight when he houses and later defends O.J. Simpson (right) following the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
After her parents' divorce – her mother remarries Olympian Bruce Jenner in 1991 – Kardashian hits puberty and is ashamed of her growing body. "I used to say my prayers before bed and pray I would stop developing," she tells Playboy. With time, Kardashian grows confidence in her curves: "I always laugh when it says on the Internet that I have fake boobs or butt implants or injected lips, because it's so not true."
Kardashian, 20, marries music producer Damon Thomas, 30, who works with the likes of Pink and Faith Evans. But death doesn't do them part, as Kardashian and Thomas endure a messy divorce in 2004. According to PEOPLE, Thomas calls Kardashian a "compulsive shopper."
Just eight weeks after learning he had esophagus cancer, Kardashian's father, Robert, dies at age 59. Kardashian, 22, speaks at her father's funeral, which she later says is "probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do in life."
After singer Brandy appears on a worst-dressed list, Kardashian is hired as her personal stylist. The stint parlays into a full-time business for Kardashian as a stylist and personal shopper to stars like Lindsay Lohan. Around this time, she begins dating Brandy's brother, R&B singer Ray J. In 2006, business is booming and, with sisters Khloé and Kourtney, Kardashian opens Dash, a boutique in Calabasas, Calif.
While rumors of a sex tape involving Kardashian and ex-boyfriend Ray J swirl, Kardashian denies any such tape exists. "There is no amount of money that could ever convince me to release any tape, even if I had one," she tells Complex. But the tape eventually surfaces on the Internet, and Kardashian sues Vivid Entertainment to suppress its distribution, saying, "It would humiliate me and ruin my family." By April, Kardashian settles with Vivid to distribute the tape.
Kardashian gets her own E! reality series, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which documents her career and family life, with sisters Khloé and Kourtney, momager Kris, and stepdad Bruce Jenner. "At the heart of this series – despite the cat fights and endless sarcasm – is a family that truly loves and supports one another," says Ryan Seacrest, executive producer of the series.
Kardashian begins dating New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush. "I'm not really a sports girl," Kardashian tell the AP. "But I sit with all the wives and they know everything and I don't so they are teaching me, and I'm learning a lot about it, so I'm loving it." They split in July 2009, before reuniting after Khloé's wedding that September.
Kardashian appears on the cover of Playboy – and bares all inside. "Of course you're nervous and want more time to work out. But I'm proud to show people who I am," she tells Men's Fitness about the shoot. "You always see the typical skinny models and I'm not that and I'm proud not to be that." In 2008, she inks a deal to be the latest face of Bongo Jeans.
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Vince Bucci/Getty; Ron Galella/Wireimage; John Parra/WireImage, Frazer Harrison/Getty; Courtesy Celebuzz.com; Brian Lindensmith/Splash News Online; Evan Agostini/AP, Clark Samuels/Startraks; Chris Polk/FilmMagic, inset: amazon.com; Courtesy E!; Seth Browarnik/WireImage; Rob Loud/Getty Images