Bachelor in Political Science, Antioch College, 1949; Diploma Cinema, University of Southern California, 1951.
President Richard Kaplan Productions, New York City, since 1957. Director, promotional films American Film Theater, 1973. Media director Alternative Conference on Environmental, Stockholm, 1972.
Media consultant City University of New York, 1974-1975. Director public programing Astoria Motion Picture and television Studios, New York City, 1979-1980. Associate dean Pratt Institute Sch Art and Design, 1984-1985.
Producer ABC News, 1986. President, executive producer The Exiles Project, Inc., 1987-1990. Consultant Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1986-1990.
Instructor New York University, City University of New York, Parsons, Hunter College, University Society California, University Maryland, 1970-1987. Lecturer, workshop director United States Info Service, Arts American, 1980, Israel, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, 1985. Professor Columbia University School of the Arts, since 1991.
Founder, deputy director Documentary Center at Columbia University. Panelist National Endowment of the Humanities Public Media Program.
Trustee Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio, 1975-1978. Vice chairman Rockland County Human Rights Commission, Rockland County, New York, 1968-1971, Town of Ramapo (New York ) Housing Authority, 1972-1976. Corporal United States Army, 1943-1946, European Theatre of Operations.
Member Academy Motion Picture Arts and Science, Writers Guild of America, Association Indiana Film and Video, New York Film Video Council (board directors).
Married Blanche Beatrice Aanesen, November 15, 1957 (divorced 1981). Children: Kjeld, Kirsti, Eve, Erica.