Born in New York City, Dr. Kaplan was raised in Florida where he formed a strong passion for wildlife conservation. The iconic Florida panther inspired his dream to one day become a wildlife biologist. Though by his own admission his scholarly pursuits better suited him for the study of history - which he studied at Oxford -- he always dreamed of one day working to conserve the world's great felids. Those dreams informed and inspired Panthera.
Alongside his wife, Daphne Recanati Kaplan, they founded Panthera in 2006 to meet the global challenges of protecting the world's wild cats and their habitats. They subsequently endowed the Recanati-Kaplan Center at Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, or WILDCru, creating the leading university-based felid conservation program. The Kaplans also founded The Orianne Society, named after their daughter, to preserve eastern Indigo snakes and their habitat, the long-leaf pine forests of the Southeastern United States.
Dr. Kaplan is active in community and family philanthropy. He is the President of the Board of Directors of the 92nd Street Y, a world-renowned, New York-based Jewish community and cultural center, and serves on the Advisory Board of New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital Department of Internal Medicine. The Kaplans have also funded the Lillian Jean Kaplan Renal Transplantation Center at the University of Miami as well as a variety of prizes and grants for medical science research.
Thomas Kaplan holds Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees in history from Oxford University. He presently serves as Chairman of the Electrum group of companies.
Selected Videos Featuring Dr. Thomas Kaplan
Selected Publications Featuring Dr. Thomas Kaplan
- Murray, S. (July 2015) Thomas Kaplan, Founder and Chairman, Panthera Financial Times
- Bittel, J. (December 2014) Hear Me Roar Baku Magazine
- Farrell, M. (October 2014) Scion Moves Into Spotlight on M&A Stage The Wall Street Journal
- Ebeling, A. (June 2014) Can Big Name Philanthropists Save The Big Cats? Forbes
- Ebeling, A. (October 2013) Tom Kaplan: Billionaire King Of Cats Forbes
- Alexander, C. (December 2011) A Cry for the Tiger National Geographic
- Guynup, S. (October 2011) The Jaguar Freeway Smithsonian Magazine
- CBS News (January 2011) In Search of the Jaguar: Up Close and Rare 60 Minutes
- Davidson, M. (August 2009) Tom Kaplan: 'I have big plans for big cats' The Telegraph
- Williams, N. (Spring 2008) 2008 International Conference on Range wide Conservation Planning for Snow Leopards: Saving the Species Across its Range CAT News
- Hunter, L. (February 2007) A Battle Royal Africa Geographic
- Garcia, D. (September 2006) From Making a Killing to Saving a Species Science Magazine
Panthera Press Releases Featuring Dr. Thomas Kaplan
- Panthera’s Chairman Dr. Thomas S. Kaplan Sells Last of Its Kind Spitfire Plane to Benefit Panthera and RAF
- Panthera Congratulates Founder & Chairman Dr. Thomas S. Kaplan For Receiving Highest French Honour
- Panthera's Chairman, Dr. Thomas Kaplan, Awarded 2012 International Wildlife Film Festival's Hero Of The Year For Unparalleled Commitment To Wild Cat Conservation
- Panthera Congratulates Dr. Thomas Kaplan on Receiving the 2012 International Film Festival’s Hero of the Year Award
- Kaplan Graduate Awards Program Grants More Than $1 Million To Become The Largest Funder of Students With A Passion For Cat Conservation
- Renowned Big Cat Conservationist Takes Helm Of New Foundation Dedicated To Saving The World’s Wild Cats