Peter Kaplan: Never Hold Your Best Stuff

Peter W. Kaplan, the editor of The New York Observer from 1994 to 2009, died Friday of cancer, The New York Times reported earlier this evening.

Mr. Kaplan, who died at age 59, was an outsized figure at the newspaper and across the city itself, not least for launching the careers of writers in every corner of journalism, book publishing and beyond. Their remembrances will start flowing as the news spreads, but there’s no better source on Mr. Kaplan than the editor himself. After the passing of Clay Felker—another New York City editing giant—Mr. Kaplan wrote an elegant tribute, republished below, that was as much about his own approach to the craft of newspapering as his mentor’s.

The piece, quoting Mr. Felker, was titled “Never Hold Your Best Stuff.” Mr. Kaplan never did.
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