Caplan, Paul S.
Interview Date
May 3, 1998
Respondent Physician; born 1912.
[T1S1] Respondent provides background information on family; great-grandfather from Vilna, father arrived in America, 1917, mother born in Pittsburgh. Respondent gives name of father: Philip, mother: Dora Friedman, her family owned men's store. Respondent discusses fathers business in California, PA: ladies and children's store, very successful. Respondent born in California, PA, gives name of younger brother; describes early life there, only Jewish student at California Normal School. Respondent comments on pleasant relationship with brother; discusses various incidents with friends; provides information on father's encounter with KKK resulting in move to Pittsburgh. Respondent mentions father's purchase of 1<sup>st</sup> automobile; trips to Pittsburgh. to purchase kosher meat. Respondent reflects on parents 1<sup>st</sup> home in Pittsburgh: Phillips Ave., attendance at Colfax School; death of parents.
[T1S2] Respondent notes depression years: family comfortable. Respondent attended Schenley High School; played trombone, comments on Bar Mitzvah at Beth Shalom; attended University of Pittsburgh, decided to study medicine while in High School. Respondent discusses various friends; all active in Friendship Club, met at YMandWHA (now JCC). Respondent recounts applying to U. of Pittsburgh Medical School, accepted early, youngest in class; interned at Montefiore Hospital (now UPMC); applied to Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, MA for residency, joined ROTC, returned to Pittsburgh, took over practice of Dr. Eisenstein. Respondent discusses courtship and marriage to Gertrude Forman.
[T2S3] Respondent mentions World War II: received orders for Army Air Force in Denver; details marriage in Denver and honeymoon; ordered to General Hospital in Salina, Kansas, then transfer to Infantry division in Normandy, France. Respondent reflects on several incidents in France; after service, Respondent returned to Pittsburgh, wife preserved office Respondent did not stay there, joined practice of Dr. Harry Margolis, on staff at St. Margaret and Montefiore Hospitals, (now UPMC) Respondent notes birth of 2 daughters and provides names of other partners in group; assistant professor of medicine, University of Pittsburgh; practice purchased by UPMC. Respondent comments on apartment in Florida and South Palm Beach Federation; his participation in their lecture series; gives list of topics discussed. Respondent discusses association with Pittsburgh Symphony Society; invitation to become physician with orchestra for overseas tours; discusses countries visited and various experiences that occurred.
[T2S4] Respondent begins lengthy discussion on children: 2 daughters; their education and careers; grandchildren's education and careers. Respondent discusses interest in history and desire to have acquired PhD in history. Respondent comments on changes in Pittsburgh: no longer smoke filled, scientific and educational city, more vibrant United Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Center; touches on orthodoxy of 2 physicians in his practice.
[T3S5] Respondent discusses joining St. Margaret Hospital (now UPMC): 1946, served as head of staff; then vice president of board of directors until retirement: sees patients only in office at present; touches on an experience at St. Margaret. Respondent mentions list of publications in various medical Journals and chapter in book; discusses several artifacts in home.
California (Pa.); Physicians; Medicine; Pittsburgh Symphony Society; World War, 1939-1945
Birth Date
Length (hours)
Winer, Ruth
Karelitz, Bess
Berger, Betty
Collateral Materials
Box 100 FF 44
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