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Philanthropist, business leader Herb Kaplan dies at 81

President of Warren Alpert Foundation remembered for healthcare, Med School contributions

Herbert Kaplan, president of The Warren Alpert Foundation and former CEO of Warren Equities, died in his sleep Jan. 2, wrote Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences Jack Elias in a community-wide email.

Kaplan, a philanthropist and business leader, is remembered by the University community for his contributions to the Alpert Medical School and his commitment to healthcare, Elias wrote.

In 2007, Kaplan helped direct $100 million from The Warren Alpert Foundation to support the medical school. The donation, a gift from his uncle, Warren Alpert, is tied for the largest in the school’s history and was used to fund the construction of a new building, research, financial aid and curriculum development within the medical school. The school was renamed The Warren Alpert Medical School to honor the foundation.

In November, the foundation gifted the medical school another $27 million to support the Brown Institute for Translational Science and establish the Warren Alpert Physician-Scientist MD/PhD Advanced Training Program.

For his service to healthcare and research, Kaplan received an honorary doctorate from the University in 2011 during a ceremony that formally opened the medical school’s new building. At the ceremony, Kaplan was also awarded a key to the city by former Mayor Angel Taveras, who declared Oct. 21 “Herbert Kaplan Day,” according to Kaplan’s obituary in The Boston Globe.

Kaplan was also a member of the Brown Medical School Corporation Committee from 2007 until his passing.

In his email, Elias described Kaplan as “brilliant, loyal and compassionate while being incredibly humble” and noted his “tireless dedication to leaving the world in a better state.”

With Alpert’s assistance, Kaplan also worked to grow Warren Equities, a petroleum retailer and operator of the Xtra Mart convenience store chain, according to the obituary. The business reached over $1 billion in annual sales by 2007.

Outside of Brown, Kaplan’s philanthropic ventures included serving as a founding member of the Noble Deeds Society of the Mount Sinai Hospital and a member of the Board of Fellows of Harvard Medical School.

“Generations of students, clinicians and patients will benefit from the vision and generosity with which Herb Kaplan led The Warren Alpert Foundation,” President Christina Paxson P’19 said in a statement. “Without question, Herb’s passion for improving the quality of health care was boundless, and his loss is deeply felt at Brown."

Members of the community are invited to attend Kaplan’s funeral services, which will be held Jan. 8 at 2 p.m. in the Chapel Sharon Memorial Park.


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