Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Justin Kaplan | Bartlett's editor, 88

Justin Kaplan, 88, a cultural historian with a taste for troublemaking who wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Mark Twain and spiced the popular canon as general editor of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, died Sunday.

He had suffered for years from Parkinson's disease, his wife, author Anne Bernays, said Tuesday. He died in a hospital in Cambridge, Mass.

A longtime professor at Harvard, Mr. Kaplan wrote several acclaimed biographies, notably Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain. Released in 1966, it was immediately praised as a landmark in Twain scholarship and won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer.

In the 1980s, he was hired as general editor of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, and set out to enliven what he believed a stuffy institution. He included quotes with four-letter words, added more women and minorities, even finding room for Cookie Monster ("Me want cookie"). - AP

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