Mann, William M., 1886-1960

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Biographical History

William M. Mann (1886-1960) was born in Helena, Montana. He attended Lyon School for Boys, Spokane, Washington, 1900-1902, and Staunton Military Academy, Virginia, 1902-1905. During a brief furlough from the academy in 1903, Mann worked as an animal cage cleaner at the National Zoological Park (NZP). After graduating from the academy in 1905, Mann worked as a rancher in Texas and New Mexico where he also collected entomological specimens. Mann attended Washington State College, Pullman, 1907-1909, and Stanford University, 1909-1911, where he received his B.A. Mann continued his entomological studies under William Morton Wheeler at Bussey Institution, Harvard University, where he received his Sc. D. degree in Entomology in 1915. Between 1911 and 1916, Mann made several entomological collecting trips abroad: as a member of the Stanford Expedition to Brazil, 1911; to Haiti, 1912; to Cuba and the State of Hildago, Mexico, 1913; as a member of the Philip Expedition to the Middle East, 1914; and as a Sheldon Traveling Fellow to Fiji and the Solomon Islands, 1915-1916. He also studied briefly in Switzerland, 1914. Mann served as an entomologist for the Bureau of Entomology, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 1916-1925. During this period, Mann made entomological collecting trips to Spain, Columbia, Central America, Mexico, and Cuba, and as assistant director of the Mulford Expedition to the Amazon River Basin, 1921-1922. He also did entomological studies in Holland and Italy. In 1925, Mann was appointed the fifth Superintendent of the NZP. In 1926, the title of Superintendent was changed to Director. Mann held that title until his retirement in 1956. Mann's major achievements during his tenure as head administrator of the NZP included the Park's building program, 1927-1940, and his various expeditions to collect live animals in order to increase the NZP population. In 1944, Mann was appointed Technical Observer by the Quartermaster Corps, United States Army, to report on the living conditions in the United States military bases in Fiji and the Solomon Islands. After his retirement in 1956, Mann was director emeritus of the NZP, and was made honorary research associate of the Smithsonian Institution. Mann was also an honorary curator of Entomology at the United States National Museum during almost his entire career, and donated his entomological collection to the USNM.

Related entities

  • Mann, Lucile Quarry, 1897-1986: Wife
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.) : He worked in various positions, eventually becoming fifth Superintendent of the National Zoological Park.

Birth Date


Death Date



  • Zoology
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.). Director
  • Entomologists
  • Zoo directors


Personal name


  • Zoologists
  • Entomologists
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.). Director
  • Zoo directors