Richard Barry KAPLAN
March 31, 1938 – October 9, 2018
Richard Barry Kaplan was born in 1938 in Detroit, Michigan, and lived there until the age of 11, when his family moved to Southern California. Richard spent most of his life in Los Angeles, growing up in the hills of Tujunga and later settling in Beverly Hills. Richard was a physicist, inventor, and entrepreneur, having received a BS and MS in physics from U.C.L.A. In 1970, he launched the company Ultramet in Pacoima, California, which fabricated specialized materials for aerospace and biomedical applications, such as “Tantalum Foam,” a porous metal construct used in orthopedic hip and knee joint replacements. Over 35 years, Richard built an extended family of employees at Ultramet many of whom would stay with him throughout his tenure there. Outside of work, Richard loved to boat and sail along the Southern California coast and later on Bass River and Nantucket Sound off the coast of Cape Cod. He was a member of the Bass River Yacht club and an original member of the Friends of Bass River, an environmental group. Richard also loved to travel with his wife Roz, visiting grandkids in Milan, San Diego, or Raleigh, cruising down the Nile, taking a train across India, crisscrossing Europe, or exploring the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat. One of his favorite destinations was Rio de Janeiro, which he visited nearly a dozen times. Richard was an avid collector of antique 17th to 19th century scientific instruments, from solar system models to mechanical engines, anatomical models and surgical instruments. He collected hundreds of items, many of which he donated in 2017 to the Physics Department at UCLA to start their first collection. To foster physics graduate education, Richard established the endowed Kaplan Award in Biological Physics at UCLA to support promising student research. Richard is survived by his wife, Roz, his two daughters, Lori and Nicole, two step-daughters, Susan and Jill, his four sons-in-law, Emerico, Hilary, Andy, and Parker, and his seven grandchildren, Edoardo, Nicolo, Rein, Lorelei, Sarah, Max, and Grace. He is also survived by his brother Jim, his sister-in-law, Toni, and his sister-in-law Marty, and their children and grandchildren. Tribute Gift donations are invited to the Kaplan AwardTribute Gift donations are invited to the Kaplan Award in Biological Physics at UCLA by going to this page: cbp.physics.ucla.edu/giving in Biological Physics at U.C.L.A.
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