Howard Kaplan was best known as an editor of the Sixth and Seventh Editions of the Scout Stamps of the World (SOSOW) catalogs published by SOSSI. He was a contributor of new issue information for the Fifth Edition of SOSOW which was edited by Harry Thorsen, Jr. and William Hoffmann. He was co-editor with Thorsen and Hoffmann of the Sixth Edition published in 1979. He edited the Seventh Edition of SOSOW in 1986 but generously shared credit with William Hoffmann who passed away early in the preparation of that edition. Howard also prepared the supplement to SOSOW that was published in 1987.
He joined SOSSI in 1964 and immediately became active in Sunset Trails Chapter No. 10 of SOSSI. He became secretary of that chapter in 1965 and served in that capacity for about 15 years. For many of those years, he prepared a monthly bulletin. In 1965, he was one of the founders of SUNTRAPEX, an exhibition solely of Scout stamps. These exhibitions were held annually for about 10 years with special cacheted event covers and Scout cancels.
Howard was a prolific contributor to the SOSSI JOURNAL. His first byline appeared in 1968 as New Issues Notes. In April 1970, his column became Kaplanís Kornor which appeared regularly until November 1993. This was an unparalleled run of over 23 years. The column was a compilation of new issues information and general comments. He also served as an Assistant Editor of the Journal from 1981 through 1983.
He was elected a Director of SOSSI and served from 1970 through 1978. He was Chairman of the Board of Directors from 1975 through 1978. In 1985, he became an Honorary Director of SOSSI.
Howard passed away in July 2001. Despite the many illnesses that he suffered through the years, Howard will always be remembered for his positive attitude and “FANNNN-TAS-TIC” out-look on life. His many friends and correspondents cherish his “Keep Smiling” that came with each letter he wrote. Howard maintained a voluminous correspondence with stamp collecting friends throughout the world.
He was a retired insurance company executive and was an active volunteer Scout for most of his adult life. He was a stamp collecting merit badge counselor for many years. He designed special album pages for use with the merit badge. He was a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award in Scouting.