Eric Hartono

Eric Hartono
United Flight 175

Modest Go-Getter



Samadikun Hartono, the chairman of Modern Group, an Indonesian conglomerate involved in manufacturing, banking and financial services, wanted his three sons and two daughters to get the best possible education. For him, that meant sending them to the United States. "We like the American way of thinking," Mr. Hartono said by telephone from Jakarta. "You train people with more independence and also wider thinking."

He was pleased when his youngest son, Eric, showed interest in becoming a businessman. "When he was 14 or 15 he already had a different attitude," Mr. Hartono said. "He already was thinking about business."

Mr. Hartono sent Eric to Portland, Ore., where he studied at Temple Christian High School, regularly attended the City Bible Church and lived with Lily and Martin Sudarma, who immigrated from Indonesia in 1971, and their son, Jay.

Friends said that he blended in with everyone. "He never talked about his wealth or what his parents do," said a friend from the school, Dani Setiawan.

After graduating from high school, Eric Hartono moved to Boston, where he attended Newbury College, and then to Los Angeles, where at 20 he was hoping to attend the University of Southern California. In September he went to Boston to visit his girlfriend, Luvena Katherine Kusuma. His return trip was on United Airlines Flight 175.

"After he graduated," his father said, "I wanted him to come back and continue my business."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on June 2, 2002.


Eric Hartono was born in Indonesia, but he quickly became an American.

After coming to the U.S. at a young age, the 20-year-old loved basketball and playing video games on his computer, friends said. He attended Newbury College in Massachusetts.

"He was a great guy, really nice and just a good guy," said Mario Hartono, a friend who was not related to the victim. Eric Hartono was a passenger on United Flight 175, which crashed in New York.

After moving to the U.S., Hartono went to high school in Portland, Ore., friends said. His father is a vice president with Fuji Film. But a few years ago, he moved to the Boston area, where he attended classes. Just a few weeks ago, he began a move to the Los Angeles area.

The week before the attack, he was back in Boston, talking to officials at Newbury about transferring credits to another college and meeting up with old friends.

Profile courtesy of THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE.




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