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.
Lucile Quarry Mann (1897-1986) was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She received her B.A. in English from the University of Michigan in 1918. She worked for Military Intelligence in Washington, D.C., during the last remaining months of World War I. She served as assistant editor at the Bureau of Entomology, USDA, 1918-1922, and as editor for The Women's Home Companion in New York City, 1922-1926.
In 1926, Lucile Quarry married William Mann, shortly after Mann's return from an animal collecting expedition to East Africa. As a wife of a zookeeper, Lucile Mann traveled with her husband to Europe and on live-animal collecting expeditions. She also acted as a foster parent to many of the orphaned infant NZP-born animals at the Manns' apartment.
Lucile Mann worked in the NZP administrative offices from 1951 until her retirement in 1967, but she continued to work there part-time until 1971. She also was editor of Tiger Talk, the NZP newsletter, and Spots and Stripes, the Friends of the National Zoo newsletter.
A taped interview with Lucile Mann was made in 1977 as part of the Archives' Oral History Project. The tapes and transcripts can be found in RU 9513.