Gordon Kadowaki was born in Honolulu in 1919 and graduated from McKinley High School. He entered the army in June 1941 and was in the Hawaii Territorial Guard when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Because of his accounting background, part of his duties in the Hawaii Territorial Guard was to audit the army warehouses. The day after the Territorial Guard was activated, everyone had their weapons taken away from them except him because he did not have dual citizenship like the others.
When Kadowaki transferred to the 100th, he attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. His brother served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. After the war, he attended the University of Hawaii and Northwestern University. Kadowaki started an accounting partnership practice which evolved and eventually merged with another practice, forming the Hawaii Office of Arthur Wong where he held positions as Managing Partner, Senior Partner, and then Retired Partner.