Justin Kaplan Obituary, Death of the Pulitzer Prize-Winning Biographer

Justin Kaplan, a renowned biographer and esteemed editor, has left a significant void in the literary world with his passing at the age of 88 in Boca Raton, FL. As we bid farewell to this remarkable figure, we take a moment to honor his contributions, achievements, and the indelible mark he left on the literary landscape.

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Celebrating Justin Kaplan’s Literary Achievements

Justin Kaplan’s illustrious career as a biographer has left an enduring legacy in the realm of literature. Notably, his 1966 biography of Mark Twain not only garnered critical acclaim but also earned him both a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize. Kaplan’s talent for capturing the essence of historical figures extended beyond Twain, as he also crafted captivating biographies of Walt Whitman and Lincoln Steffens.

A Life Immersed in Literature: Justin Kaplan’s Journey

Born on September 5, 1925, in Manhattan, Justin Kaplan was destined to become a literary force. From a young age, his voracious reading appetite led him to delve into the works of literary giants such as Tolstoy, Boswell’s “Life of Johnson,” and Pepys’ diary. Excelling academically, Kaplan entered Harvard University at the age of 16 and soon found himself editing books for Simon & Schuster. His keen intellect and passion for literature earned him the reputation of a “house intellectual” and brought him into contact with influential figures like Bertrand Russell and Nikos Kazantzakis.

A Life Well-Lived: Justin Kaplan’s Interests and Contributions

Beyond his exceptional literary achievements, Justin Kaplan’s interests and pursuits extended into various facets of life. An avid outdoorsman, he found solace in hiking and skiing with his family, as well as indulging in the joy of reading amidst the serenity of the woods. Kaplan’s culinary skills also shone, particularly in his expertise in crafting delicious soups. Additionally, he generously shared his knowledge and passion for writing by teaching at the Truro Center for the Arts, leaving a lasting impact on aspiring writers.

 Honoring Justin Kaplan’s Lasting Literary Legacy

Justin Kaplan’s literary contributions continued until his final years. His last book, “When the Astors Owned New York: Blue Bloods and Grand Hotels in a Gilded Age,” exemplified his talent for seamlessly blending biography, social history, and architectural appreciation. Kaplan’s ability to bring history to life and shed light on influential families earned him accolades and further solidified his position as a prominent literary figure.

In conclusion, the passing of Justin Kaplan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, has left the literary world mourning the loss of a remarkable talent. As we celebrate his extraordinary career and contributions to literature, we pay tribute to the enduring legacy he leaves behind. Justin Kaplan’s profound impact on the literary landscape will be cherished and remembered for generations to come.

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