Toronto District School Board trustee Howard Kaplan dies at 72

Toronto District School Board Trustee Howard Kaplan has died at the age of 72, after battling a complicated auto-immune disease that had aggressively targeted his liver.

Robin Pilkey, the chair of the TDSB, and Director of Education John Malloy announced Kaplan’s passing “with heavy hearts” Monday.

“We know that all Toronto District School Board Trustees and staff join us in expressing our sincere condolences to Howard’s family, friends and colleagues at this very difficult time,” they said in a release.

“From early years programming to special education, Howard was passionate about public education and was a strong believer in equity in education.”


In November 2015, Kaplan wrote on Facebook that he had been diagnosed with IgG4-related sclerosing cholangitis and would need a liver transplant.

“What it means is that I will eventually need a new liver. I am currently undergoing a battery of tests to see if I am a suitable candidate for a transplant: I have to be healthy enough —; good heart, lungs, kidneys, etc; and I have to be sick enough —; my liver has to be really bad,” he wrote.

“My energy level fluctuates day-by-day. I don’t know from one day to the next how much work I can do. It will get worse as time goes on until I get a new liver… if I’m a suitable candidate.”

Kaplan was first elected in 2010 as the School Trustee for Ward 5, York-Centre. A celebration of his life will be planned and buildings across the TDSB will lower flags to half-mast.