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Zelda Kaplan, American socialite and philanthropist died she was 95

Zelda Kaplan  was a fixture in New York’s art, nightclub, and fashion worlds died she was 95.[2] She was often seen at popular New York nightclubs until closing.[3] Her trademark nightclub outfit was a matching African-print dress, handbag, and shoes, and a tall cloth hat.[4]

(June 20, 1916 – February 15, 2012)

She made numerous philanthropic and humanitarian efforts, frequently traveling to Africa to speak out against female genital mutilation and campaign for the right of women to inherit; in 1995 she spoke to villages in South Africa about birth control.[4] In regard to women’s rights she was quoted by the Village Voice as saying, “It’s so important that girls not defer to the penis. I hope to let every girl know that she is somebody.”[5]

In 2003, she was profiled in The New York Times. [6] Later that same year HBO premiered a documentary about Kaplan, Her Name Is Zelda, which followed her life from housewife to socialite.[7][8] In 2006, at the age of 90, she was profiled in The Village Voice.[9] Kaplan also once posed as a subject for her friend the photographer Andres Serrano. [10]


Kaplan died in 2012, aged 95, after collapsing at a runway show for
her friend the designer Joanna Mastroianni’s new collection at Lincoln Center in New York City during the city’s twice yearly fashion week. [11][12]

To see more of who died in 2012 click here


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