Sargis Kasyan was born in January 1876 in Shushi. His father, Hovhannes Ter-Kasparyan, was a teacher and merchant who moved to Baku with his large family.
Until 1900, Sargis Kasyan studied in Baku and then continued his education in Europe. After graduating from the Institute of Commerce in Leipzig and the Faculty of Philosophy at Berlin University, Kasyan founded the first Armenian Bolshevik newspaper, “The Voice of the Worker”, in 1906, together with Ludwig Knunyants and Petros Mnatsakanyan.
He translated Marx and Engels’ “Manifesto of the Communist Party” and Engels’ “Principles of Communism” from German into Armenian.
In Tiflis, on Stepan Shahumyan’s initiative, he published the “Kayts” and “New Word” newspapers. With Spendaryan, he helped publish the Russian periodical “Listok-kopeyka”. In 1914, with Boryan and other Tiflis Bolsheviks, he published the weekly “Mer Xosqy”.
In 1919, he took part in the illegal September consultation of Armenian Bolshevik organizations and in the first illegal conference.
He was head of Soviet Armenia for only a few months. It was during this period, in February 1921, that dozens of Armenian personalities and soldiers were massacred in Yerevan prison.
In 1920-30, he held high office within the Inter-Federation (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, from 1922 to 1936).
He was killed in 1937, becoming one of the victims of Stalin’s terror.