Peter Kaplan, Legendary New York Observer Editor, Dies At 59

November 29, 2013 8:12 p.m.
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Peter Kaplan, the longtime editor of The New York Observer, died Friday night, according to The New York Times.

He died of cancer, according to Kaplan’s brother James.

Kaplan was appointed editor of the weekly newspaper in 1994. He served as editor for 15 years, the longest anyone has held that role at the Observer.

Besides the Observer, Kaplan also served as Executive Producer of the Charlie Rose show and as a cultural correspondent for The New York Times. His work appeared in New York magazine, Esquire, and The Washington Post among other publications. Most recently Kaplan served as the Editorial Director of Fairchild Fashion Media, which includes Women’s Wear Daily and Footwear News.

Kaplan was known for his wit and mentoring of talented young writers.  During Kaplan’s time as editor the New York newspaper published pieces by Joe Conason, Ben Smith, Nikki Finke and Candace Bushnell who wrote a column that would eventually be turned into the HBO series Sex and the City. 

A 2012 profile of Kaplan in The New Republic described his style as “eccentric.” 

Read the Observer’s obit here

This post was updated. 


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