Antranik M. Kechichian was born on May 30, 1931 in the town of Beylan in the province or sanjak of Alexandretta, today in Turkey, to parents from Hasanbeyli, Cilicia. His father’s name was Madteos Agha Kechichian. Antranik received his elementary education at the local Armenian elementary school.
His parents, who were the founders of the local branches of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) in Beylan and the surrounding areas, enrolled their practically from birth as a member. After moving to Beirut with his family as a result of the evacuation of Alexandretta in 1941, he continued his membership, and in 1956 received the certificate of a veteran member.
He participated in the AGBU’s activities from the time he was an adolescent. For a while he participated in the Lebanese Armenian Rebirth Association (Veradznount). In 1947, he founded the athletic branch of this organization, and in 1950, its student chapter.
After this, he expanded his activities in the ranks of the AGBU’s Armenian Youth Association. He was responsible for its athletics division from 1951 to 1954 and its junior division in 1953. From 1950 to 1954 he was the champion athlete of AYA in Lebanon in the 10,000-meter run, and won numerous cross-country races.
In this period, he became the sports correspondent for Beirut’s Zartonk daily newspaper. The interest he generated led other newspapers to establish similar sports columns. He then became one of the founders of the Zartonk-Spor weekly newspaper, edited by Edmond Y. Azadian, Osheen Keshishian and Vatche Semerdjian.