He was born in village Dharampur, District Hoshiarpur, situated in a sub-montane tract which was surrounded by pine forests. He attended primary school in Dharampur and then moved to Quetta (now in Pakistan) where his father was posted as a Sanskrit teacher. After finishing his matriculation in Quetta, he joined DAV College Lahore to pursue higher studies. His father and three elder brothers were all imbued with the spirit of Indian nationalism. In early 1928, Kishori Lal joined the Naujawan Bharat Sabha, thereby coming into direct and close contact with the founder of the Sabha, Bhagat Singh. The Sabha instilled revolutionary ideas among the youth and prepared them for the struggle for Indian freedom by violent means.
He was involved with the HSRA bomb-making unit at 69 Kashmiri Building, Lahore, from where he was arrested on 15 April 1929 along with Sukhdev Thapar. Subsequently imprisoned, Lal participated in a historic hunger strike by HSRA members while in jail and was sentenced to transportation for life. He served his 18-year sentence in the jails of Lahore, Multan, New Multan and Montgomery. He spent nearly five years in solitary confinement due to his rebellious nature.
While in jail, he came in contact with a number of communist prisoners and started reading Marxist literature. Under this influence his world outlook underwent a change and in 1936 he applied for party membership from jail. He was registered as a Communist Party member in 1942.
After his release from jail in 1946, he asked the party to allot him work on the trade union front, where he worked with customary heart and soul. He was elected as president of the Punjab unit of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) in 1948.
In 1954 he took part in the movement for the liberation of Goa. He was a committee member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) at Punjab state level for a number of years. He also served as in-charge of the Punjab Book Centre at Jalandhar. He was quite active on the Desh Bhagat Yadgar Committee at Jalandhar.
Lal died on 11 July 1990 in hospital at Jalandhar, following a road accident.
- Template:Cite Charan Singh Virdi “Pandit Kishori Lal” published in Memoirs: 25 Communist Freedom Fighters. Delhi, Peoples Democracy Press, 2005 pp 55-58
- "Pandit Kishori Lal". Department of Museums of Punjab. Retrieved 21 August 2011.