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John "Jack" Hanna (born January 2, 1947) is an American zookeeper who is the director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. He was director of the zoo from 1978 to 1992, and is viewed as largely responsible for elevating its quality and reputation. His media appearances, particularly with David Letterman, Good Morning America, and Maury Povich have made him one of the most notable animal experts in the United States.

Early life

Jack Hanna was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. He grew up on his father's farm and volunteered for the family veterinarian, Dr. Roberts, when he was 11. He attended The Kiski School, an all-boys boarding school in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, for high school, graduating in 1965. He majored in business and political science at Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, where he got in trouble for keeping ducks in his dorm room and a donkey in a shed behind his fraternity house (The M.A.C.E. Club). In his senior year, Hanna married Suzi, a cheerleader at Muskingum, and graduated in 1968.

The...
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