Monday, August 16, 2010

Jerry Haar remembers Hank

When I first met my father-in-law Hank Kaplan, my knowledge of boxing could have filled half a thimble. Thanks to him, I was able to fill the other half in no time—with a lot left over. But it was not Hank Kaplan, the dean of boxing historians, that made the most lasting impression upon me, but rather Hank, the unassuming, regular guy. His quiet charisma, his patience, his understanding, and complete lack of pretension were what impressed me most in the decade-long period I had the privilege to know him. No sincere question posed to him about boxing or entymology—his greatest passion (something known to a very few!)—was deemed silly, stupid, or irrelevant. I observed in every instance Hank’s ability to calmly, clearly, succinctly and respectively respond to any and all questions posed to him from novices as well as those well-versed in the ins and outs of the “sweet science.” Hank was a man with a mission—to chronicle for posterity the history of boxing. He did precisely that—and he did so with class and humility, setting the bar high for future boxing historians and archivists who will build on the rock solid foundation he created…..Jerry Haar

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