Armen Karo is the nom-de-guerre of Armenian writer, philosopher, diplomat and soldier Karekin Pastermadjian. Pastermadjian was born in Karin (Erzerum), located in the eastern part of the Armenian Highland, in 1872. In 1891, he became among the first graduates of the Sanasarian Academy of Karin. He continued his studies in Europe, most notably in France where he was first introduced to the ideals of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. Quickly becoming one of the organisation’s youngest and most promising members, he was elected as a delegate to the party’s second international convention in 1898. After completing his doctoral studies in physical chemistry at the University of Geneva in 1900, he returned to his native Karin.
Pastermajian became instrumental during the Second Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire as a deputy to the Ottoman Parliament from Erzerum province. After this period and during the First World War, Armen Karo served as a volunteer in Armenian guerrilla units resisting the genocidal programme of the Ottoman authorities. He later became the first ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Armenian to the United States of America. Finally succumbing to a heart condition in 1923, Karekin Pastermadjian left behind a legacy which we are proud to continue in his name.