Eric Hartono

Boston, Massachusetts


Boston, Massachusetts


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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.

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I came to know Eric as the next door neighbor of the lovely family he was staying with. He always had a smile and a friendly word. Such a kind young man. We shared interest in nature and dogs :) My wife cares for him. After the shock of 911 when we lost so many from Boston University and recovering from the horror, the fighter jets cross crossing the skies, my wife had received a new mobile phone and phone number. Some friends were calling for Eric. Amazingly, she had received his number. We...

Eric was a friend of a friend. So sorry for your loss. He sounds as though he would have been a wonderful man.

Just heartbreaking and unfathomable to know Eric perished on 9/11 when he had lots of life to live.
My condolences to the Hartono family.

The world is afflicted by death and decay. But the wise do not grieve, having realized the nature of the world. The Buddha

R.I.P Eric Hartono

Dear Eric's family, we don't know each other, but as a fellow Indonesian, I feel sorry for your great loss... He will never be forgotten

While all of the stories from that horrible day are very sad, it is the ones like these that really touch me. A smart young man, with a great life ahead of him. I pray today for his girlfriend and the many other friends and family he left behind. Much love from Texas.

He had his whole life ahead of him & he was in love. He would have had a remarkable career and family by sorry he's gone too soon.