Skip to main content

Miller Center Honors Mortimer Caplin with Elizabeth Scott Award for Exemplary Leadership

September 11, 2009, Board news

WASHINGTON, DC – September 11, 2009 – The Miller Center of Public  Affairs and the Miller Center Foundation honor Mortimer Caplin, founding  member of the law firm of Caplin &  Drysdale, with the 2009 Elizabeth Scott Award for his dedication and leadership to the Miller Center of Public Affairs, the University of Virginia and the greater community. The conferring of the award on September 17, 2009 will be one of the highlights of the Foundation's annual Salute Event.

The Foundation praises Mr. Caplin for his longstanding service to the Miller Center as a member of both its Governing Council and Foundation Board. It also applauds him for establishing the endowment that launched the annual Mortimer Caplin Conference on the World Economy. Debuted last year, this landmark event brought 12 former G-20 finance ministers to the Miller Center to lay the underpinning for new financial architecture to address rapidly changing global economic challenges.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award,” said Mr. Caplin. “It is a privilege to be part of a leading national institution known for groundbreaking research, information and dialogue on the workings of our democracy.”

Mr. Caplin has played critical roles in legal, political and public spheres and has received numerous accolades for his service. Graduating first in his class from University of Virginia School of Law, he served as law clerk to U.S. Circuit Judge Armistead M. Dobie before practicing law in New York City from 1941 to 1950, with time out for military service. He then returned to U.Va as Professor of Law (1950–61) and Visiting Professor of Law (1965–87).  Mr. Caplin served on President John F. Kennedy’s Task Force on Taxation and as U.S. Commissioner of Internal Revenue (1961–64), receiving the Alexander Hamilton Award from the Secretary of the Treasury for “distinguished leadership” as Commissioner.

After his public service, Mr. Caplin became the founding member of Caplin & Drysdale, one of the nation’s preeminent tax law firms. He has also been a trustee of educational institutions and charitable organizations, including U.Va. Board of Visitors, U.Va. Law School Foundation, George Washington University, Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theatre, and Wolf Trap Foundation. University of Virginia honored him with the Thomas Jefferson Medal in Law, the University’s highest honor, and William J. Brennan Jr. Award from its National Trial Advocacy Program.

Earlier this year, French President Nicolas Sarkozy recognized Mr. Caplin’s service as U.S. Navy beach master during the Normandy invasion. Cited as a member of the initial landing force on Omaha Beach, he was appointed as a “Chevalier” of the Legion of Honor for his contribution to the United States’ decisive role in France’s liberation during World War II.

Caplin resides in Chevy Chase, MD with his wife, Ruth. They have four adult children.

« Return to Board news