Source: World BridgeObituary reprinted from The Bridge World
Edgar Kaplan, one of the major figures in the history of bridge and Editor and Publisher ofThe Bridge Worldfor more than 30 years, died of cancer on September seventh. For several years, he had battled against the disease with remarkable optimism, resolution, intelligence and courage. Edgar never surrendered to this fearsome enemy and maintained his usual schedule of tournament attendance and participation until the end. He won a national championship (his twenty-eighth) earlier this year, and competed in the Spingold and other events at the Summer Nationals a few weeks before his death.
Edgar was born in Manhattan and, with the exception of attendance at college and military service during World War II, lived there throughout his life. From 1960 on, he and his beloved wife, Betty, who died in 1985, resided in the brownstone house on West 94th Street that also housesThe Bridge World. He is survived by his sister-in-law, Sylvia Kaplan; a niece, Beth; and a nephew, Michael.
Edgar Kaplan participated in organized bridge in virtually every possible way, filled a wide variety of roles, made major contributions in important areas, and inspired several generations of participants through his standards of behavior and achievement. He was one of the most successful American players, representing the United States 8 times in world championships (twice finishing second in world team events), winning 16 major national team championships, and garnering innumerable lesser titles including, in the one year that he set out to win it, the then-called McKenney Trophy for the most master points in one year. His partnership with Norman Kay was one of the strongest and longest-lasting expert pairings ever. For more than 30 years, Edgar regularly held official and unofficial positions as captain, assistant captain, coach or advisor to American international teams. Most recently, he was captain of the 1995 Bermuda Bowl champion team.
A highly effective teacher and lecturer, Edgar was a co-founder of The Card School in New York. The combination of his teaching style and outstanding writing skills led to a series of successful books: "Winning Contract Bridge Complete," and "Competitive Bidding in Modern Bridge," have been in print for more than 30 years. Also still available, "Kaplan-Sheinwold Updated" is the most recent book on the system that gained many adherents and left its mark on standard bidding techniques, a method originally developed with the late Alfred Sheinwold; it represents the agreements he used with Norman Kay. His other books were "How to Play Winning Bridge" (the original K-S book), "The Complete Italian System of Winning Bridge," and "Duplicate Bridge: How to Play, How to Win."
Edgar Kaplan was the prime mover behind most of the major changes in the Laws during the past few decades; he served on and chaired both national and international Laws commissions, and was widely regarded as the leading authority on bridge law. Often an American delegate to the World Bridge Federation, he was influential on several committees of the world body (frequently Appeals chairman) and for a long time its witty chief commentator. He served as a director of the American Contract Bridge League and, for many years, of the Greater New York Bridge Association.
MostBridge Worldreaders will remember Edgar Kaplan best as an authoritative and entertaining author and a clever editor. By example, he established a high tone, not only in his writing but in all his activities. At the table, Edgar was a quintessential civil player who demonstrated how to compete fiercely at the highest levels while showing respect for partner, the opponents, and the game of bridge.
Editor’s Note: In the December issue, the magazine will begin a series of articles recalling Edgar’s enormous contributions to the bridge world andThe Bridge World