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Washington Post Features 100-Year-Old Former IRS Commissioner Mortimer Caplin

July 11, 2016, The Washington Post

The Washington Post’s July 8th Metro Section features Caplin & Drysdale’s founding member and former IRS Commissioner Mortimer M. Caplin who turns 100 on July 11th.  Family, friends, colleagues, and staff – all paying homage to Mr. Caplin’s signature bow ties by wearing teal-colored bow ties – attended a private gathering at the firm’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., on July 7, 2016.   “He is a legend at the IRS,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.  “You mention Mort Caplin, and even the youngest employees know who he is.” Commissioner Koskinen presented Mr. Caplin with a binder full of birthday wishes from IRS employees from across the nation.  To view the article by Colby Itkowitz, please visit The Washington Post’s website.

Photo: Mortimer Caplin (far right) shown here with Douglas Drysdale (middle).

Reflecting on his time at the IRS, Mr. Caplin remarked, “We encouraged our agents and personnel to be more friendly with the public. My feeling was we want to be helpful … to make people feel like someone wasn’t standing over them with a stick.”  Shelley L. Bishop (nee Davis), the first and only historian for the IRS, wrote a scathing tell-all book about IRS practices after she left the job in 1995. But when asked about Caplin in an interview, she said he reminded her there were good people in government.  “The most important point is that Mr. Caplin truly was a public servant and he viewed his work as an important issue of public trust and he took it seriously and I’m not sure we have a lot of that today,” she said. “At least Mr. Caplin gave it his best shot during those years. His has been a life very well lived.”

“We have been and continue to be inspired by Mort’s legacy,” added Firm President Beth Shapiro Kaufman.  His many accomplishments include: a college boxer, a judge’s clerk, a World War II hero, a law professor, President John F. Kennedy’s IRS commissioner, the founder of a boutique law firm, a philanthropist, a husband and a father.  Cheers to 100 Years of Mort Caplin!


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