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apollack
12-14-2007, 01:14 PM
A legend in boxing knowledge and research archives, Hank Kaplan has passed away at age 88.

prodigious1
12-14-2007, 01:17 PM
i just read about this and came over here to offer my condolences. sorry for the loss. i know what he meant to this site.

Off The River
12-14-2007, 01:44 PM
I offer my condolences as well
To his loved ones and family
To his family and the CBZ family
May you all live as long...

Maxie's Gal
12-14-2007, 02:11 PM
Kaplan, member of boxing Hall of Fame, dies at 88

By Dan Rafael


Hank Kaplan, one of the foremost boxing historians in the world, died Friday morning at his home in Kendall, Fla., after a brief illness. He was 88.

Kaplan was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y., in 2006. The Brooklyn, N.Y. native's rise came in the 1950s doing publicity for brothers Angelo and Chris Dundee, fellow future Hall of Famers, at Miami's famed Fifth Street Gym. During this time, Kaplan began to amass one of the largest private collections of boxing archives, including photographs, documents and memorabilia, on his way to being recognized as one of the sport's most important historians.

Kaplan was the founder and editor of Boxing Digest and served as a boxing consultant to various media outlets. He wrote for The Ring magazine and published boxing features and historical pieces for boxing journals around the word.

Kaplan boxed in several amateur bouts and won his only professional fight. He joined the Coast Guard during World War II, choosing the military branch in which one of his idols, former heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey, had served.

Kaplan received the James J. Walker Award for long and meritorious service to boxing from the Boxing Writers Association of America in 2002.

The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced that its flags will fly at half-staff in his memory.

"Hank Kaplan loved the sport of boxing, its history and, most importantly, the boxers," said Edward Brophy, the Hall of Fame's executive director. "The Hall of Fame joins the boxing community in mourning the loss of our friend."

A funeral is planned for Monday at Mount Nebo Memorial Gardens in Kendall, Fla.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.

Maxie's Gal
12-14-2007, 02:15 PM
http://i19.tinypic.com/6ouzpc0.jpg

broncano
12-14-2007, 02:33 PM
I was introduced to Hank by Enrique Encinosa here in Miami some years ago. Enrique introduced me as a native of Peru and an avid researcher of Peruvian boxing. Hank listened to my stories of Mauro Mina and the Peruvian boxing scene of the 40s-50s with the fascination of a newcomer to the sport. Therein lies his greatness, for all the unparallel and vast knowledge he possesse he was one guy who would always rather listen and learn.

Everytime I met him after that I tried to let him do all the talking, but it was fruitless, he always wanted to know more about Mina, Artie Towne's fights in Lima, etc...

R.I.P dear HANK.

GorDoom
12-14-2007, 02:38 PM
The CBZ will forever be indebted to Hank. If you look at our masthead for 13 years it has listed Hank as: "SPIRITUAL ADVISOR ON ALL MATTERS FISTIC: Hank Kaplan

Hank gave us instant credibility in the boxing world. When the CBZ started back in '94 boxing people didn't know or give a shit about the internet. Hank went out of his way to promote us to the boxing cogneceti. He also contributed articles as well as ALWAYS being available with sagacious advice.

Basically, without Hank the CBZ just wouldn't be what it is today. This is really a sad day for us ... & this is just going to kill my partner, Mike DeLisa, who is in Venezuela, when he finds out. Hank & Mike were VERY close friends.

I want to give you guys an example about how special Hank's boxing knowledge was. About 8-9 years ago I was writing a short bio of former 1920's feather & jr. light champ, Benny "Little Fish" Bass.

I kept reading different reports about his height ranging from 4'11 to 5'3. I called Hank up & asked him if he knew how tall Benny actually was. He said (& I'm paraphrasing} Me & Dempsey went down to see Benny fight in Philly in 1923. I stood right next to him at the weigh in. I'm 5'3 & he was a solid inch shorter than me so I'd say he was 5'2.

Guys, who the hell else could have given me information like that other than Hank???

Selah ... Rest In Peace My Dear Friend.

GorDoom

KOJOE90
12-14-2007, 03:50 PM
Rest In peace Mr Kaplan.

smallon
12-14-2007, 04:03 PM
RIP Hank...

hagler04
12-14-2007, 04:12 PM
My condolences to his friends and family. We're thankful that he was able to share his knowledge with so many.

rocky111
12-14-2007, 04:23 PM
Oh my God what horrible news. Hank Kaplan is a person that you would pray to live forever. One of the few. He simply cannot be replaced. I wish so much he would have written thousands of pages of what he has seen. I would have been glued to every word. He sounded like such a great guy. I shake my head at this great loss. It sounds like God is getting a great guy. My condolences also to all of his family and friends also. Very very sad and we are the poorer for this mans passing.

Ron Lipton
12-14-2007, 10:35 PM
Just so sad, he loved boxing as much as anyone who ever lived.
Angelo Dundee and me talked about him all the time through the years.

RIP Hank, you were and are boxing's best friend.

Ron

writehooks
12-14-2007, 11:18 PM
I first corresponded with Hank more than a decade ago, and we finally met in person a few years later. He always remembered that I live in Alberta and collect items related to the career of George Chuvalo. From the first time we spoke, he told me he would keep his eyes open for items to add to my collection. We chatted again at Canastota last June (where he referred to George as "one of my all-time favorite fight guys"), and a few weeks later a large package arrived from Florida, containing two on-site posters (Chuvalo-Alongi and Chuvalo-Besmanoff) and handbills for three other Chuvalo fights. When I called to thank him, Hank brushed it off and instead wanted to talk about the induction weekend. When I called again a few weeks ago, he told me he'd just returned home from his hip operation and was feeling much better. As always, he asked me to give his best to former Canadian heavyweight champ Ken Lakusta. (Hank promoted the Lakusta-Trevor Berbick British Commonwealth title fight in Edmonton in the early '80s.)

This is a sad, sad day for the boxing fraternity. My sincerest condolences to Hank's friends and family.

Murray

Phillyfan
12-14-2007, 11:35 PM
talk about a kick in the gut. i just found out by logging in here. now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to put my fist thru the wall and drink a toast to my good friend. RIP Hank

Rafael
12-14-2007, 11:46 PM
A great man of boxing, indeed.

May he reast in peace.

Phillyfan
12-15-2007, 04:47 AM
great picture maxiesgal, thanks.
I have 1 hank story. I once asked him not to get angry, but did he ever meet jack johnson. He started to growl "jesus, how old do you think i am", then he paused, then he said "wait a minute, I did meet jack once when I was young, at a carnival".
If the apocalypse were happening, Hank would stop and calmly light his pipe.
The greatest historian, fan, and gentleman boxing ever had. RIP

doomeddisciple
12-15-2007, 05:28 AM
Very sad day and my sympathies to his family and the obvious deep pool of friends on this board and throughout the boxing world.

theironbar
12-15-2007, 07:29 AM
Very sad news... my condolences to Mr. Kaplan's friends and family.

jim glen
12-15-2007, 08:34 AM
the Golden Age of Boxing (mid-30s to early-50s), is slowly but most steadily becoming the very, very distant past. With the passing of Hank Kaplan and his peer's, most of whom are already gone, the great stories and facts still yet to be revealed are slipping into 'forever gone'...

I'm still clinging to the hope of meeting 2 or 3 Kaplan type individuals to blow open the case for my Ol' Granda, which would prove to be one of the greatest cases in British sporting history.

Rest in peace Sir and say hello to all the great Champs and Contenders.

Jim.

Adeyinka
12-15-2007, 09:07 AM
Requiescat In Pace Hank Kaplan

kikibalt
12-15-2007, 02:39 PM
Hall of Fame boxing historian Hank Kaplan died Friday, leaving behind archives that dated to the 1800s. He was 88. Kaplan died after battling cancer for nearly a year, his daughter, Barbara Haar-Kaplan, said. His archives include books, letters and newspaper clippings. "Boxing was his life, and my dad kept everything he stored in such pristine condition," Haar-Kaplan said. Kaplan was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y., in 2006

Mexal
12-15-2007, 03:26 PM
Rest in peace, Hank Kaplan, an irreparable loss to boxing

Dan1213
12-15-2007, 05:47 PM
HANK KAPLAN

Hall of Fame boxing historian Hank Kaplan died Friday, December 14, 2007 leaving behind archives that dated to the 1800s. He was 88.

Hank died after battling cancer for nearly a year, his daughter, Barbara Haar-Kaplan, said. His archives include books, letters and newspaper clippings.
"Boxing was his life, and my dad kept everything he stored in such pristine condition," Haar-Kaplan said. "But not only was he dedicated to his sport, he had a genuine concern for people."

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Kaplan moved to Miami in the early 1950s. He worked as quarantine officer with the Centers of Disease Control for 30 years while maintaining ties to boxing.

The Brooklyn, N.Y. native's rise came in the 1950s doing publicity for brothers Angelo and Chris Dundee, fellow future Hall of Famers, at Miami's famed Fifth Street Gym. During this time, Kaplan began to amass one of the largest private collections of boxing archives, including photographs, documents and memorabilia, on his way to being recognized as one of the sport's most important historians.

Hank was a charter member of the International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO). IBRO’s director, Dan Cuoco, called Hank ‘The God Father of boxing historians.”

"One of the nicest things that happened to the sport of boxing was Hank Kaplan," said trainer Angelo Dundee, who first met Kaplan in 1951. "I know he did favors for millions of people."
He helped maintain the legacy of once-revered champions and accompanied former world champions Beau Jack and Kid Gavilan to functions decades after their careers.

Kaplan was the founder and editor of Boxing Digest and served as a boxing consultant to various media outlets. He wrote for The Ring magazine and published boxing features and historical pieces for boxing journals around the word.

Kaplan boxed in several amateur bouts and won his only professional fight. He joined the Coast Guard during World War II, choosing the military branch in which one of his idols, former heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey, had served.

Kaplan received the James J. Walker Award for long and meritorious service to boxing from the Boxing Writers Association of America in 2002.
Kaplan was on the screening committee that helped approved members of the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y.

"He was finally convinced to remove himself from the screening committee so his name could be submitted for nomination," said Ed Brophy, the Hall of Fame's executive director. "Hank was always thinking of others who were worthy of being selected."

Kaplan was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y., in 2006.

The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced that its flags will fly at half-staff in his memory.

"Hank Kaplan loved the sport of boxing, its history and, most importantly, the boxers," said Edward Brophy, the Hall of Fame's executive director. "The Hall of Fame joins the boxing community in mourning the loss of our friend."


Rest in Peace!

http://i12.tinypic.com/6jmf9mu.jpg

Hank Kaplan with fellow IBRO members in Canastota, NY - June 2007

Back row: Steve Canton, Jack Sheehan, John Ochs, Ted Sares, John DiSanto, Hank Kaplan, Chuck Hasson, Bob Caico and Don Koss.

Front row: Phil Shea, Dave Bergin, Dan Cuoco, Don Cogswell and Denis Nolan

hawk5ins
12-15-2007, 05:54 PM
I've had only a couple occasions to converse with Hank, but each time I came away feeling 100 times smarter than before I Spoke with him.

Another link to the past has moved on.

Next time you guys have a drink in your hand, raise it up and say a toast.

I know I will.

Cheers Hank!

Hawk

GorDoom
12-15-2007, 06:00 PM
Gotta tell ya, Danny, looking at that great pic of the IBRO gang I suddenly realised that even at 88, Hank was better looking & handsomer than all you bums put together!

GorDoom

Dan1213
12-15-2007, 10:55 PM
Gotta tell ya, Danny, looking at that great pic of the IBRO gang I suddenly realised that even at 88, Hank was better looking & handsomer than all you bums put together!

GorDoom

How right you are! Hank was one of a kind.

Chuck1052
12-16-2007, 01:46 AM
I hope that Hank's family and friends accept my condolences.

- Chuck Johnston

wildhawke11
12-16-2007, 09:09 AM
My sincerest condolences.
A great loss to a sport we all here love but an even bigger loss to his close friends and family. Rest in peace Old Timer.

jim glen
12-16-2007, 07:22 PM
does anyone have contact details for Denis Nolan, I think he was the man I met at the very end of the WBHOF induction weekend and he wanted to know more about Gilroy, I gave him a book and Disc of his Scrapbook. I'd like to contact him to follow up.

Thanks, Jim.

jim glen
12-16-2007, 07:25 PM
Sorry NOT Denis Nolan, but rather Don Koss.

tedsares
12-16-2007, 09:31 PM
What a very nice man he was. A real mensch! I am so glad I quoted him in my book. And I am so glad I got a photo with him at the Hall in June. RIP, Hank.

ricky
12-17-2007, 08:07 PM
Condolences to his friends and family. A huge loss for the sport of boxing.

GorDoom
12-19-2007, 12:08 PM
Forwarded Message from Mike Silver
From: TSPersonnel@aol.com
To: dir.ibro@adelphia.net
Subject: Fwd: HANK KAPLAN – CELEBRATION OF A GREAT LIFE
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2007 06:51:32 +0000
Dan,
Most of us would have wanted to be at Hank's funeral. Ron Ross and his words stood in for all of us.
Mike

WWW.TrufanBoxing's

HALL OF FAME


HANK KAPLAN – CELEBRATION OF A GREAT LIFE

Ron Ross Dec. 17, 2007

We came to say goodbye to our beloved Hank Kaplan today. There was no grieving, no mourning, though. Instead, it was a celebration of his life – an extraordinary life, a giving life, a life always dedicated to glorifying and commemorating the gallant efforts and deeds of those young warriors who climbed through the ropes of prize rings around the world fighting their hearts out whether for twenty-five dollars or twenty-five million dollars. To Hank, they were all under one roof and he cloaked them all with dignity and pride. It was their entitlement.

I was privileged to have Hank as my very dear friend. It’s said that nobody is perfect, but Hank Kaplan came as close to living up to that label as anyone I ever knew. I never saw him angry or to lose his temper. The door to his South Miami home was open to all. His archives, knowledge and input were never denied, whether to a best-selling author working on a mega-buck advance boxing biography or a college English major struggling over a term paper about boxing as a major sport. All that ever mattered to him was what he could do to help and enhance the sport and its participants. It was never about what boxing could do for him.

He had a financial advisor who wanted to make Hank a wealthy man. Hank explained to him that he already was a wealthy man. He had a doting wife, a loving son and daughter and a home filled with all the things he loved, boxing memorabilia and archival material that he was able to immerse himself in whenever he chose. So he made his financial advisor a boxing fan.

What made Hank so very special was that he never separated the flesh and blood aspect from the pen and ink. He was not merely the guardian of the records, but more importantly, he was the guardian of those great battlers from champion to contender to prelim boy who climbed through the ropes to make those records.

Many people who knew Hank as the “Dean” of the International Boxing Hall of Fame never knew what a multi-faceted person Hank was. Growing up in the Hebrew Orphan Asylum on the upper west side of Manhattan during the Depression years Hank quickly developed contradictory passions, botany and boxing. When Hank’s father passed away, his mother, a seamstress, couldn’t afford to keep the family together so Hank and his younger brother Ted were sent to the orphanage and their sister Ada was sent to a foster home. It was on a camp outing that young Hank, for the first time in a world not constructed of cement and concrete, saw trees, flowers and plants that opened his eyes to a whole new world. He began reading everything he could get his hands on about botany and biology.

About the same time in his life, some kid about a head and a half shorter than Hank bopped him on the nose over some meaningless, lost-in-time argument. Hank could not believe that someone that much smaller could land a punch on him. So, he decided to study boxing as a science to find the answer – also to make sure never to get bopped on the nose again. One thing about Hank Kaplan, he was an A+ student. Once he put his mind to learning something he would sop it up like a sponge. He never got a rematch but it didn’t matter. He never did get bopped on the nose again, either. Actually, Hank did go on to an abbreviated boxing career. One fight, one win.



Meanwhile, his intrigue with boxing became all-consuming. He read about and analyzed every aspect of the sport. Newspaper articles, magazine pieces, books, all began blending together forming the beginning of what was to become the greatest archival collection in the boxing world.



When it came to toughness and courage, Hank did not take a back seat to any of the illustrious warriors whose deeds he recorded. His fight was not in any roped-off ring but in an open arena against an insidious, invisible opponent not restricted by rules of convention or morality. He began his battle during World War II with the United States Coast Guard and continued for another thirty years with the Centers for Disease Control. It was waged against mankind’s ultimate enemy, the microbe. Hank Kaplan fought disease and pestilence throughout the world, always with the knowledge that his life was on the line, It was in 1963 that he went to Jakarta, Indonesia to fight perhaps the worst outbreak of bubonic plague of modern times. It was the one time in his life that he was uncertain of whether he would make it back home.

It was after World War II that Hank settled in Miami and an intrigue that began as a kid in an orphanage now flourished as he met Chris and Angelo Dundee, began collecting boxing memorabilia and did the promotional work for the Dundees and the legendary Fifth Street Gym. He started the original Boxing Digest magazine and hooked up with a young kid, Ramiro Ortiz, who went on to become President of Bank United and Boxing Commissioner in Miami, to promote boxing shows at the War Memorial in Fort Lauderdale.

Perhaps it was coincidental, maybe it was meant to be. Hank’s wife Sylvia came from Louisville. It was while they were dating that Hank met this young kid, Cassius Clay. He went to the youngster’s high school graduation and they joined together in Miami when Hank became the treasurer of the Muhammad Ali Foundation.

Hank Kaplan was a charter member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame as the head of the selection committee. In 2006 he was asked to step down temporarily as there was a regulation stipulating that no member of the board was eligible for induction. Hank Kaplan was then accorded the highest of honors by being elected into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. It fills me with a great sense of pride to remember Hank asking me to ride alongside him in the Induction parade.

The memories I have of Hank will always keep him alive in my heart. I cherish those special moments like the night in Atlantic City with Hank wrestling with a squirming Beau Jack, trying to get a tie around his neck before a boxing banquet in Atlantic City; or the afternoons and evenings Hank and I would spend in a Cuban restaurant with Beau Jack and Kid Gavilan, with Hank lovingly cutting the Kid’s Palomillo steak into bite-size pieces for him. I’ll never forget the Hank Kaplan who sat at the side of Beau Jack’s hospital bed, holding the wonderful little battler’s hand, guiding him gently to his final rest. I will always cherish the memory of an aerobic walk with Hank whose long walks took so much longer than they should as we stopped to examine the leaves of this tree or the petals of a flower at the side of the road. Puffing on his pipe he was as gentle and caring wi th these species as he was with his legions of prizefighters.

So, we gathered at the Mt. Nebo Memorial Gardens in Kendall, Florida to celebrate this wonderful life. Friends and relatives got up to tell of those special moments that would forever enshrine Hank in their hearts. Ed Brophy, Director of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, whose flight was cancelled because of poor weather conditions, sent a message detailing the impact that Hank Kaplan had on his life and how his spirit and passion touched the lives of so many in the boxing community. They flew the flags at half mast in Canastota in Hank’s memory. Angelo Dundee could not hold back the choked sobs as he reminisced their early days in the Fifth Street Gym. It made each of us realize what special qualities this amazing person possessed.



Yes, there were tears shed. But you had to put things in perspective. When the sun is blotted out by a large, dark cloud we are still bathed in and luxuriate in the warmth of its afterglow. The warmth and love that Hank Kaplan brought to all who knew him can never be blotted out. We will always be able to luxuriate in his afterglow.

GorDoom
12-19-2007, 12:12 PM
bump

rocky111
12-19-2007, 03:19 PM
Thanks for sharing that thing from Silver Bucket. Great.

cmoyle
12-19-2007, 05:37 PM
You can reach Don at the following email dkoss@ccc.edu

wildhawke11
12-19-2007, 06:09 PM
Beautiful wrote.
Thanks for sharing Steven (Bucket).

catsfoot
12-27-2007, 06:02 PM
what a lovely old fellow he was - i met him in grazianos this year at ibhof - when i told him i was from new zealand he grasped my hand with such warmth and said - " my dear old friend Tom Heeney - he was my dear old friend - Tom heeney from New Zealand' - just one of my favourite memories from that awesome weekend. rest in peace hank.

Juan C Ayllon
01-06-2008, 12:18 AM
I never met him, but from what I've read, he must have been one heck of a boxing historian and human being.

Rest in peace,


Juan C. Ayllon

mrbig1
01-18-2008, 10:51 PM
R.I.P. from your brothers and sisters here at CBZ.

mike
01-20-2008, 03:54 PM
that "celebration of a life" was just great. thanks alot. now, dont forget the hank kaplan archive at brooklyn college- hed strongly appreciate it.

Ron Lipton
02-03-2008, 10:10 PM
That was an eloquent and beautiful eulogy.

Hank will be missed very much.


Ron