Peter Kaplan, the famed New York Observer editor credited with turning the paper into an influential chronicler of New York City’s elite, passed away on Friday at the age of 59. During his 15 years at the Observer, Kaplan is said to have pioneered the sharp, sardonic tone that went on to influence much of the media world. (Without Kaplan, according to a 2012 profile in the New Republic, “you lose The Awl, much of Gawker and a good bit of Politico, too.”) Kaplan left the Observer in 2009 and was most recently the editorial director of the Fairchild Fashion Group. He is survived by his second wife Lisa Chase and their son, in addition to four children.
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