Jack Hanna

Birth Day January 2nd, 1947
Birth Place Knoxville, Tennessee
Age 77 Years Old
Zodiac Sign Capricorn

About Jack Hanna

Jack Hanna, affectionately known as "Jungle Jack," is a retired American zookeeper and former director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. His remarkable contributions to the field have earned him widespread recognition. Serving as the zoo's director from 1978 to 1992, Hanna played a pivotal role in elevating its standards and establishing a stellar reputation. He worked for a wildlife adventure company and directed the small Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens from 1973 to 1975. Beyond his work at the zoo, Hanna has hosted the syndicated television shows Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures, Jack Hanna's Into the Wild, and Jack Hanna's Wild Countdown. He has also occasionally contributed commentary as an animal expert on various local and national news programs, and has done guest spots on other shows such as Larry King Live, Nancy Grace, Maury, and The Hollywood Squares. Additionally, Hanna has shared his wealth of knowledge and passion for wildlife through his authored works, including notable books that have captivated readers with fascinating insights into the animal kingdom. He published his autobiography, "Monkeys on the Interstate" in 1989. In June 2020, he announced his retirement from the Columbus Zoo effective at the end of the year.

Jack Hanna Early Life & Family

Born on February 2, 1947, in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA, Jack Hanna, whose full name is Jack Bushnell Hanna, holds American nationality with a White ethnic background. At the age of 76, he recently celebrated his birthday on January 2, 2023, alongside his parents. As a Capricorn, his Zodiac sign aligns with his birthdate, and he practices Christianity as his religion. Growing up on his family's farm, he developed a passion for animals and began volunteering for the family veterinarian, Dr. Roberts, at the tender age of 11. He is the son of his father, Joan Hanna, and his mother, Netile Hanna. 

Jack pursued his education at the Kiski All-Boys boarding school in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, and later obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in business and political science from Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, graduating in 1968.

Jack Hanna, a retired American zookeeper and former director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Jack Hanna Career

  • Despite facing challenges in securing zoning for a zoo on his family's farm, Jack Hanna and his wife Suzi opened a pet shop and petting zoo instead. 
  • In 1972, a distressing incident occurred when a three-year-old boy was mauled by a lion on Hanna's farm. The boy had managed to slip past the protective barrier and reached through the enclosure fence, resulting in the loss of his arm. 
  • Following the incident, Hanna settled a subsequent lawsuit out of court, closed down the petting zoo, and relocated his family to Florida.
  • Subsequently, from 1973 to 1975, Hanna worked for a wildlife adventure company and served as the director of the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens. 
  • In 1978, he accepted the position of director at the Columbus Zoo, partly motivated by the belief that Columbus Children's Hospital had the best treatment for his daughter Julie's leukemia. 
  • Julie eventually recovered from the illness at the age of six, though she later required surgery to remove a brain tumor. 
  • Upon joining the Columbus Zoo, Hanna dedicated himself to revitalizing the facilities, which were in a state of disrepair. 
  • He personally picked up trash around the zoo grounds after closing and recognized the importance of increasing public support and funding for the zoo in central Ohio. 
  • Hanna's dynamic personality and public relations skills were instrumental in raising the profile of the Columbus Zoo, with his live animal demonstrations on shows like Good Morning America and David Letterman's talk show garnering national attention. 
  • During his tenure, the zoo transitioned from cage-like enclosures to more natural habitat environments, while also undergoing significant expansion. The annual attendance of the Columbus Zoo soared by over 400% under Hanna's leadership. 
  • In recognition of his contributions, he was honored as the director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in 1992.
  • In 1989, he published his autobiography titled "Monkeys on the Interstate" and has authored numerous books for children.
  • Hanna's television presence has been prominent, hosting syndicated shows like "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures," "Jack Hanna's Into the Wild," and "Jack Hanna's Wild Countdown," all produced and distributed by Litton Entertainment.
  • He has also appeared as an animal expert on various news programs and made guest appearances on shows such as "Larry King Live," "Nancy Grace," "Maury," and "The Hollywood Squares." 
  • In 2003, he made a special guest appearance on an episode of "Blue's Clues" and was honored as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People" by People magazine in 1996. 
  • Hanna even featured in Neal McCoy's music video for "Billy's Got His Beer Goggles On," showcasing his animal companions. 
  • In collaboration with Emmy Award-winning musician Mark Frye, he released an album titled "Jack Hanna's World" through Virgin Records in 1996. 
  • Recognized for his contributions, Hanna received honorary doctorates from Muskingum University, Otterbein College, Capital University, and Ohio University. 
  • He displayed his expertise in animal tracking when he assisted Ohio police in locating escaped exotic animals near Zanesville, Ohio, in October 2011. 
  • Hanna's dedication to conservation was acknowledged at the Los Angeles Zoo's Beastly Ball in May 2018, where he was honored with the Tom Mankiewicz Leadership Award. 
  • In June 2020, Hanna announced his retirement from the Columbus Zoo, effective at the end of the year, marking the end of an illustrious era.

Jack Hanna Net Worth

Jack Hanna, an esteemed American zookeeper, has amassed a considerable net worth of approximately $7 million in 2023, primarily stemming from his successful career in the field. Furthermore, he holds the esteemed position of director at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, where he has dedicated nearly four decades of service, making him the longest-serving zookeeper in its history. Jack's impact extends beyond his work at the zoo, as he also garnered recognition as the host of shows like "Jack Hanna's Into The Wild" (2007-2019) and "Jack Hanna's Wild Countdown." His contributions as a documentary producer and zookeeper have yielded earnings surpassing $10 million. Remarkably, Jack has generously donated nearly 70% of his total income to various wildlife funds, exemplifying his commitment to conservation efforts. With an estimated annual salary exceeding $500,000, he enjoys a luxurious lifestyle in his exquisite mansion, embracing the joys of life. Jack's profound connection with nature can be traced back to his humble beginnings in a farmhouse, and it is this enduring bond that has cemented his reputation as one of the world's foremost zookeepers.

Jack Hanna Wife & Children

Jack Hanna, a married man, has been happily wed to his beautiful wife, Suzi Egli for an impressive 55 years as of now. Their love and bond have only strengthened over time. The couple exchanged vows in 1968 at the Brown Chapel on the Muskingum University campus, the same institution they both attended. In addition to their enduring partnership, Jack and Suzi also ventured into entrepreneurship by opening a pet shop called "Pet Kingdom" in Knoxville. Together, they have been blessed with three children named Kathaleen, Julie, and Suzanne Hanna. Kathaleen, who is married and resides in the UK, is their eldest daughter, while Julie, also married and a mother of four, lives in Cincinnati. The youngest sister, Suzanne, works at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and resides with her parents. As a doting grandfather, Jack enjoys the company of his six grandchildren. Currently, he cherishes precious moments spent with his beloved family. 

Jack Hanna withhis wife, Suzi Egli and their three daughters

Jack Hanna Height & Weight

Jack Hanna, a charismatic and attractive man, stands at an ideal height of 182 cm or 1.82 m or 5 ft 11 in. Weighing a balanced 80 kg or 176.37 lbs, Hanna maintains a fit physique. While his precise body measurements remain undisclosed, it is worth noting that his magnetic personality surpasses mere physical attributes. His eye color is light brown while his hair color is white. He has a slim body type. After receiving an initial diagnosis of early Alzheimer's in 2019, Hanna, accompanied by his wife Suzi, relocated to Montana following his retirement from the zoo in 2020. However, in April 2021, his family made a public announcement revealing that he had been diagnosed with dementia, which was later believed to be Alzheimer's disease. As a result, he decided to abstain from any further public appearances. Expressing their concern, his daughters acknowledged that his condition had unexpectedly deteriorated rapidly in recent months. 

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