Horace “Hank” Mann, PhD, President of the AAMR 1970-1971 Board of Directors, passed away in his Buffalo, NY home November 18, 2010. He was 88.
Born in Brooklyn, Dr. Mann earned a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College and a master’s degree from Columbia University. He was an Army Air Forces bombardier-navigator during World War II and was awarded the Purple Heart.
After the war, he began his teaching career in 1947 in New York City, where he taught children with disabilities in the city’s public schools. He left the classroom to pursue his doctorate in special education from Pennsylvania State University, so he could prepare others to teach children with special needs.
Dr. Mann joined Buffalo State College in 1953 as the director of the Exceptional Children Education Division. Under his leadership, the undergraduate and graduate programs grew to prominence—among the largest such programs in the United States.
He served as president of the American Association on Mental Retardation (1970-1971). His national and international service in the field earned him many honors, including the 1996 Burton Blatt Humanitarian Award; the 1998 Distinguished Educator Award of the American Association on Mental Retardation; and in 1997, the SUNY honorary doctorate of humane letters.
He retired in 1992 having helped educate more than 7,000 special-education teachers. “When you work with people in the service areas, you learn a lot about yourself,” Dr. Mann said in a 2002 interview. “And in learning about yourself, you have really been given a gift.”
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