San Luis Obispo, Calif. (Aug. 15, 2002) -- Tax guru Gary L. Klott, who founded the popular Web site TaxPlanet.com, died Aug. 10 at his California home, a victim of heart disease at age 52.

Klott, a former New York Times business writer and syndicated tax columnist, founded TaxPlanet.com to offer information about personal taxes to both professionals and ordinary taxpayers. The site garnered dozens of awards over the past two years.

Klott wrote for United Press International and then the New York Times, covering the tax law changes of 1986 and writing the paper’s "Tax Watch" column. He also wrote three books.

Klott was born Oct. 4, 1949, in Chicago. He served as a lieutenant in the

U.S. Navy during the Vietnam war aboard the USS Kitty Hawk as a communications officer.

Klott was also a pianist, and once formed a 22-member jazz band. He also

composed musical pieces to be performed at Jewish services.

He graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana in 1971.

Besides his wife, Sandra J. Duerr, who is the executive editor of The San Luis Obispo Tribune, his survivors include a son, Alexander, and a daughter, Jacqueline.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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