We are deeply saddened to share that our friend and former colleague Helene Kaplan passed away on January 26.
Helene joined Skadden as of counsel in 1991, serving in the not-for-profit sector as legal adviser, director or trustee of a range of prominent institutions and foundations, including the American Museum of Natural History, Barnard College, the Bretton Woods Committee, the Commonwealth Fund, the Council on Foreign Relations, the J. Paul Getty Trust, the New York City Public Development Corporation and New York Council for the Humanities. Helene was the first trustee to serve a second term as chair of the board of Carnegie Corporation of New York and its first chair to be elected an honorary trustee. She also served as a director for corporations including Bell Atlantic, ExxonMobil, JPMorgan Chase, May Department Stores, MetLife, and Verizon Communications. Helene retired from the firm in 2014.
Helene won numerous awards for public service, particularly for her work on behalf of nonprofits, including her beloved alma mater, Barnard. In 1992, she received the college’s Distinguished Alumna Award and, in 1993, its highest honor, the Barnard Medal of Distinction. Helene also received an honorary doctorate of laws from Columbia University and an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where she served as chair.
Helene is survived by her husband of 70 years, of counsel (former partner) Mark Kaplan; their daughters, Marjorie and Sue; and their grandchildren.