Alexander Gitovich was born in 1909 and grew up in the Russian city of Smolensk, outside of the Pale of Settlement. When he was still a schoolboy, he began to publish poems in Smolensk newspapers and he joined the local association of proletarian writers. After he completed school, he moved to Leningrad, where he entered the faculty of geography of the State University of Leningrad. However, he did not complete his studies there. He served in the Red Army in 1931 and 1932. In the 1930s he was a member of a group of young Leningrad poets, including those involved in the publication of the journal Literaturnyi sovremennik (Literary Contemporary). In late 1939 he was again mobilized into the Red Army and participated in the war with Finland.
When war broke out between the USSR and Nazi Germany, in July 1941 he volunteered for the LeningradNarodnoe opolchenie (a kind of national guard). Subsequently he became a military correspondent in the Red Army and wrote for the army newspaper V reshchaiushchii boi (In Decisive Battle). He often visited combat units. In March 1942, lying in ambush as a sniper, he killed a German soldier. In August of that year he took part in a bombing mission against an enemy target. For these actions he was awarded the For Bravery medal in September 1942.
Also in that year Gitovich wrote to the prose writer, poet and journalist Ilya Ehrenburg:
""Probably my name is familiar to you: before the war my lyric poems were widely criticized. My friends, young Leningrad poets who were grouped around the journal Literaturnyi sovremennik, were also criticized. Now a majority of those who criticized us are living [in various places] in Alma-Ata, in Molotov, in Omsk [i.e., in evacuation, far from the front]. Three of us lyric poets were killed in the fighting for Leningrad – one was the navigator of a submarine, the second – a mortar-man, and the third – a sapper. And all of them were volunteers, like the others who survived."
In October 1944 Captain Gitovich, then a special correspondent for the front-line newspaper Za Rodinu (For Our Motherland), was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War, 2nd class, for covering the fighting in Latvia and Estonia. After the war ended, in September 1945 for his work as a military correspondent he received the Order of the Red Star. His collection Frontline Poems had been issued in 1943. Two years after the war ended another collection of his frontline poems, Stikhi voennogo korrespondenta (Poems of a Military Correspondent) appeared. After the war Gitovich lived in Leningrad, where he translated many Chinese and Korean poems into Russian. He died in Komarovo, near Leningrad, in 1966.