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NEW YORK CITY-He’s been called “one of the nicest guys in New York real estate.” Donald B. Kaplan, who from 1980 to 1991 served as general manager of the Empire State Building, died on November 11. He was 81. Cause of death was a brief, undisclosed illness.  

In his nearly four decades of New York City real estate experience, Kaplan served in the various iterations of the Lawrence Wein, Peter Malkin, Harry Helmsley empire. In fact, he began his career working for the trio in the 1960s and, according to a Malkin Holdings statement, “went on to hold various executive positions overseeing the trophy Manhattan assets that the three acquired and syndicated together.”

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