Harry Alexander Kawilarang was born on September 27th 1944, in Tondano, North Sulawesi. His career as journalist started as an active member of the Indonesia's Student Journalist Association (Ikatan Pers Mahasiswa Indonesia, IPMI), while at the same time he studied at the Publicity Faculty of Prof. Moestopo University in 1965 in Jakarta. He was also an activist with the Student Movement during the "Silent Revolution" in 1966 in changing the Indonesian Old Order Regime. Harry went to Europe and studied on press-photography and journalism courses in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 1966. He continued his study in Hamburg and Berlin the following year. During his student years in Europe he was appointed by the Indonesian student paper, KAMI as correspondent in Europe in 1966-68.
After finishing his studies in Europe for two years, he started his career as a photo-reporter with the Utusan Malaysia newspaper, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1968 for one year. Expanding his experience in journalism, he became a free-lance war-photographer and was working as a stringer to various media and news-agencies covering the Vietnam War (1969-70). After three years adventuring in Southeast-Asia, Harry returned to Indonesia in 1971, and started working as a photo-journalist with Indonesia Raya daily (1971-1972), Sinar Harapan daily (1973-1980), Mutiara Biweekly (1980-1986), the TSM (Teknology Strategy & Militer) military monthly (1987-1993) and Suara Pembaruan (1991-2001).
Harry is more or less self-made, full of initiatives in creating his identity, not only as a photojournalist, but also as an active writer. Not only were his pictures eye-catching, but he also has a strong readership following as a travel writer with his feature stories. His East-Timor story was among the well-known "scoop" stories in his career, being the first journalist that entered Dili, two days after the dictatorship in Portugal was toppled through the "Flower Revolution" in Lisbon in late April 1974. Since that time, he has two jobs, as a photographer as well as a writer, on travel, environment, social-economy, history, politics, general features, etc.
Harry became more active and well known as a writer specializing in international relations and military affairs from beginning 1980 and was appointed a foreign desk editor at Mutiara biweekly magazine. Because of his interest in military affairs, he was appointed senior editor to the TSM (Teknologi Strategi & Militer), the first Indonesian military monthly magazine that was founded in 1987. This medium gave him the opportunity to expand his interest, consequently attending many military institutes abroad, attending various international seminars and meeting prominent figures that are well-known in military affairs. The result of all these experiences gave him the idea as of 1980 to collect and compile quotations, proverbs, wise sayings, and important military historical events. All of these sources he obtained from reading books, newspapers, magazines, following speeches, interviewing and from oral conversations with many prominent figures from the 120 countries he had visited over time.
Harry has retired as a senior editor from Suara Pembaruan, the Indonesian daily since 2001, but his dedication as photo-reporter, photo-journalist, foreign correspondent to senior editor, had enriched his experience. Today Harry Kawilarang is an active book writer on politics, military and international relations.