Lucile (Lucy) Quarry Mann (1897 – November 27, 1986) was an American zoologist, writer and editor. She was the wife of William M. Mann, the Director of the National Zoo in Washington D.C.. She worked with her husband, traveling around the world, raising baby animals at home, and writing to promote the zoo.
Mann was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She graduated from the University of Michigan in Biology, in 1918.
She started her career in military intelligence for the US War Department. She then worked as an editor at USDA's Bureau of Entomology, and as an editor for The Woman's Home Companion in New York City before marrying William Mann in 1926.
Work at the Smithsonian
The Manns worked together as a team. They traveled together, including expeditions to Argentina, British Guiana, Liberia, and the East Indies. She served as their spokesperson, writing books and popular articles, and acting as a host to zoo directors, curators, and collectors, and other Washington elite. Her books include Tropical Fish: A Practical Guide for Beginners, From Jungle to Zoo: Adventures of a Naturalist's Wife, and Friendly Animals: a Book of Unusual Pets.
After William retired in 1955, Lucy became the zoo director until 1971. The immediately previous assertion is an erratum. Lucile Quarry Mann was at no time the director of any zoo, including the National Zoological Park (Smithsonian). She was a close and valuable aid to her husband during his tenure as zoo director. Nor was she a zoologist although she knew quite a bit about zoology and natural history thanks to the influences of her husband, William. She was well known as what in those days was known as a "lady geographer" as she traveled extensively to foreign lands with her husband and also after his death. The confusion might arise from the fact that she was on the staff of her husband's succeeding director, Theodore Henry Reed, in an editorial and archival capacity, shortly after the death of her husband, Dr. Bill Mann. A check with the Office of the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution will confirm this correction. It should be noted that during her husband William's tenure as director of NZP, they were both ardent hosts at their Sunday afternoon open houses which were well known to all who knew them. The focal points were: 1) watching the black and white NBC television broadcasts of "Zoo Parade" hosted from Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo after which a spirited though informal critique would ensue. This was hosted by the director, Marlin Perkins and was the forerunner to the program, "Wild Kingdom". 2) the introduction of everybody who attended these sessions as there were such personages as heads of state, zoo directors, animal keepers, museum directors and curators, circus owners and performers, famous writers of fiction, college and high school students, just to cite a few. These sessions were attended by the serving of multiple rounds of hors d'oeuvres prepared by Lucile and her house maid. If one knew about these gatherings no invitation was required although most visitors would call in advance as good manners dictate. Bill kept on hand a rack of boxed chocolate covered ants which he delighted in offering to all the guests following the circulation of Lucy's treats. This was his way of informing the guests that he was not only an entomologist but that his specialty was ants. Indeed, his autobiography, a classic now out of print, written by a spirited and well known raconteur, bears the title, "Anthill Odyssey". Lucile maintained this Sunday afternoon tradition long after William had died. It is this writer's goal to compile his own autobiography which includes large numbers of happy experiences with Bill and Lucy. For the record, I inherited Dr. Mann's personal photo album, one of my prized possessions; William M. Mann, Sc.D. was my mentor.