Burt Kapner was born in 1926 in Newark, New Jersey. He grew up in a Jewish family in the Weequahic section of Newark.
During World War II, Mr. Kapner served in the U.S. Navy on the home front. He served as a naval corpsman in hospitals in California and Texas in psychiatric units, including units that were studying combat fatigue or what now is known as post-traumatic stress disorder.
After the war, Mr. Kapner went to Rutgers-Newark on the GI Bill and graduated in 1950. While he was at Rutgers, he majored in accounting and played freshman basketball.
During his career, Mr. Kapner worked as a buyer for Macy's and Rockower Brothers. He later worked as a business professor at Union County Community College. He and his wife raised their family in South Plainfield, Plainfield and North Plainfield.