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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Tue Nov 30, 2021, 03:16 PM

1. Back in the 1930s, the University of Virginia was a boxing powerhouse.

Mortimer Caplin, who was eventually the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, was a boxer while an undergraduate there.

Mortimer Caplin

Commissioner of Internal Revenue

In office: February 7, 1961 – July 10, 1964

Born: Mortimer Maxwell Caplin; July 11, 1916; New York City, New York, U.S.
Died: July 15, 2019 (aged 103); Chevy Chase, Maryland, U.S.
Political party: Democratic
Education: University of Virginia (BS, LLB)
New York University: (LLM, SJD)

Mortimer Maxwell Caplin (July 11, 1916 – July 15, 2019) was an American lawyer and educator, and the founding member of Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered.


Early life


First in his class at the University of Virginia School of Law, and Editor-in-Chief of Virginia Law Review, Caplin served as a law clerk to U.S. Circuit Judge Armistead M. Dobie. He then practiced law in New York City from 1941 to 1950, with time out for military service in the United States Navy. During the invasion of Normandy, he served as U.S. Navy beachmaster, cited as member of initial landing force on Omaha Beach and the recipient of the French Legion of Honor.

In 1950, Caplin returned to UVA as professor of law, specializing in tax and corporate law and publishing extensively in these fields. He spent 33 years on the faculty of the U-Va. law school and jokingly credited his Internal Revenue Service appointment in 1961 to his “good judgment — the good judgment to have both Bobby and Teddy Kennedy as students at the University of Virginia and to pass them both. He also served as adjunct professor of law at The George Washington University Law School from 1965 to 1966 and at the University of Miami School of Law from 1967 to 1970. Additionally, Caplin engaged in practice as counsel to a Virginia law firm. He turned 100 in July 2016.

Government experience

Following President John F. Kennedy's election, Caplin served on the President's Task Force on Taxation and in January 1961 was appointed U.S. Commissioner of Internal Revenue.


Awards and honors

Caplin's contributions were recognized by numerous organizations over many years. The University of Virginia presented him the Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Award from its National Advocacy Program as well as the Thomas Jefferson Medal in Law, the university's highest honor. Caplin also received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. The American Bar Foundation honored him at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans founded by historian and author, Stephen Ambrose. He was also named "Chevalier" of the Légion d'honneur or Legion of Honor by the President of the French Republic for his contributions to the United States' decisive role in the liberation of France during World War II. The Maryland General Assembly issued an official citation in recognition of his appointment as "Chevalier" of the Legion of Honor.

Caplin was the star middleweight of a national championship boxing team as a University of Virginia undergraduate in the mid-1930s.


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Jilly_in_VA Nov 2021 OP
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