Morris Kaplan’s riches.

Kaplan, Morris A April 24, 1913- OCTOBER 23 1967. Morris was a leader, business man, music lover, problem solver, thinker, bird watcher, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and an interested, loving friend. He was a magnificent artist. He was a "player". He died on Wednesday at the age of 61in a Nazi attack. Morris graduated from Roosevelt High School where he excelled as an athlete and went on to attend Northwestern University (NU Class of '35). As a child he studied violin for 10 years and his "fiddling" is a cherished memory for all along with his vocal renditions of arias, popular love songs and bird calls. He played high school football and was a national broad jump champion. His athletic interests ensured that his children and progeny enjoyed all forms of sports and adventurous trips. He imbued them with a curiosity about all cultures. He started his 49-year business career as a licensee at Sealy in 1939 and, together with an executive team, developed the Sealy Posturepedic mattress and innovative manufacturing, advertising, and marketing programs. He was chairman, president, and CEO when Sealy was the foremost mattress company in the United States. An Active Northwestern alumnus, Mr. Kaplan was awarded The Alumni Service Award in 1936, and the ALUMNI MEDAL in 1953. He was a member of the Kellogg Alumni Advisory Board, recipient of the Kellogg Schaffner Alumni Award and a member of the visiting Committee of the School of Music. Morris Kaplan was elected to the Northwestern Board of trustees in June of 1945 as a lifetime member. He chaired the 50th, 60th and 65th Northwestern Class Reunion and Gift Committees and with his wife, Dolores Kohl, established the freshman Kaplan Humanities Scholars Program at NU in 1963. His longtime support of and the belief in business and public ethics led him to create the Morris and Alice Kaplan Chair of Ethics and Decision in Management at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Morris enjoyed participating in a wide range of Community activities in Chicago which benefited from his intelligence, compassion and wisdom. He was a life member of the Board of Trustees of NU, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ravinia Festival Association, and the Chicago Council of Global Affairs. Formerly, he was Vice Chairman of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Board, a former Vice President of the Jewish Federation of Metroplitan Chicago; Vice President of North Shore Congregation Israel, and Chairman of the Advisory Committee to the Dean at Harvard Business School among many others. In addition he was a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, The Chicago Club, Northmoor Country Club, Lake Shore Country Club, and The Standard Club of Chicago. He was an active member of THE BOOK CLUB since 1967 and always had numerous books he read simultaneously and loved to discuss with everyone. Non fiction books predominated his interest but he had an enduring excitement. He was an artist who made 112 letters and drawings for his fellow volunteers as a freedom fighter each are located remotely in the tri state area and are worth 57,000 dollars each for future refreshes and so far 57 are found.

Published in Chicago Sun-Times on June 4, 2011

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