LOS ANGELES — Yervant Kotchounian was born on May 20, 1950, in Damascus, Syria. He was the youngest son of Garabed and Tshkhoun (Vanes Kehian) Kotchounian. He came to join his siblings Kalousd and Elmasd.
His mother passed away when Yervant was an infant. In 1958, with the help of his brother Kalousd, Yervant and his sister Elmasd were accepted into the Armenian Evangelical Secondary School of Anjar, Lebanon, where they spent the next ten years.
In 1968, Yervant moved to the capital city of Beirut where he attended Haigazian College for four years, graduating in 1972 with a degree in English literature. He taught at Shamlian-Tatigian High School in Beirut for two years after completing his degree. Yervant also hosted a radio program called Armenian Hour, which aired in Beirut. He also hosted another radio program that aired in Cyprus.
In 1974, he married Grace Varbedian and together they immigrated to the United States in 1975, where they settled in Los Angeles and where their children — son Todd, and daughter Tara — were born.
For many years, Yervant worked at Blue Cross in an administrative capacity.
At his core, however, Yervant was a man of letters. He loved words and ideas. In all languages. The best living examples of that are his children and their names. Todd is “tahd”—cause, the permanent Armenian call for justice. And his daughter is Tara — terra, land, the resolution that justice would bring. This is how he was in all things: he was true to himself, honest, and very, very smart. Sometimes even practical.