In Memoriam: Mortimer Caplin

Mortimer Caplin, UVA Law professor emeritus who served as IRS commissioner under President John F. Kennedy, passed away on July 15, just days after reaching his 103rd birthday.

An ALI member since 1953, Mr. Caplin taught tax law for 33 years at UVA Law in addition to having a distinguished career as a tax attorney and founder of the Washington, D.C., law firm Caplin & Drysdale.

Upon graduating from UVA Law , Mr. Caplin served as a law clerk to Judge Armistead M. Dobie of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit after graduation. He then practiced law in New York City from 1941 to 1950, with time out for military service in the U.S. Navy. During the Normandy invasion he served as U.S. Navy beachmaster and was cited as a member of initial landing force on Omaha Beach.

In 1950, Mr. Caplin returned to UVA as a professor of law, specializing in tax and corporate law and publishing extensively in these fields. He also engaged in practice as counsel to a Virginia law firm.

Following President John F. Kennedy's election, Mr. Caplin served on the President's Task Force on Taxation and in January 1961 was appointed U.S. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. He remained in that post until July 1964, when he resigned to form the law firm Caplin & Drysdale. Mr. Caplin continued to teach at UVA Law from 1965 to 1988 as a visiting professor.

He will be remembered for his lifelong dedication to service and continuing education.

Read the NYT Obit here.