Robert Townley "Bob" Mann, Jr.
|Alma mater||University of Louisiana at Monroe|
California State University, Dominguez Hills
|Occupation||Louisiana State University professor|
Journalist, Political historian
|Cynthia Ann "Cindy" Horaist Mann|
|Children||Robert T. Mann, III|
Avery Frances Mann
Robert Townley Mann, Jr., also known as Bob Mann (born September 2, 1958), is a professor and holds the Manship Chair in Journalism at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He served as communications director to Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco. He was a political columnist for The New Orleans Times-Picayune.
He joined the Louisiana Governor's staff in 2004 after serving 17 years as state director and press secretary to U.S. Senator John Breaux of Louisiana.
Before his service on Breaux's staff, he was press secretary to U.S. Senator Russell Long of Louisiana. He was also press secretary for the 1990 re-election campaign of U.S. Senator J. Bennett Johnston of Louisiana, and communications director for the 2003 Blanco campaign. In 2015, he was inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame.
Mann is the son of Robert Mann, Sr. (1924-2008), a native of Beaumont, Texas, and the former Charlene Elizabeth Wellhausen (born c. 1934). The senior Mann died in Fredericksburg, Virginia, the place of residence of their son, Paul Edward Mann. Bob Mann, who was also born in Beaumont, has a sister, Sarah Elizabeth Luker of Seabrook, near Houston, Texas. The senior Mann was a veteran of the United States Coast Guard during World War II and was employed by Sun Oil Company and was for more than two decades a Church of Christ minister in Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico.
Mann is married to the former Cynthia Ann "Cindy" Horaist (born June 1961), the executive director of the Louisiana Prison Chapel Foundation, which in 2013 sponsored the drama, The Life of Jesus Christ, performed by inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola. The couple has two children.
Mann attended the University of Louisiana at Monroe, where Dave Norris was his economics professor; since 1978, Norris has been the mayor of West Monroe. Mann worked for the Monroe News-Star, where he was assigned to cover the West Monroe City Hall. He left in 1983 to work as political writer for the since-defunct Shreveport Journal in Shreveport, Louisiana. Mann received his graduate degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills.
An active Democrat, Mann joined the staff of U.S. Senator Russell B. Long of Louisiana late in Long's lengthy tenure in office. He continued as press secretary (and later as state director) under Long's successor, John Breaux, another Democrat. In 1990, he was press secretary for the final reelection of U.S. Senator J. Bennett Johnston, Jr., who defeated the former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke, then a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives. In 2003, Mann was communications director for Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, the Lafayette Democrat and lieutenant governor who defeated Republican Bobby Jindal for governor of Louisiana but bowed out after one term, only to be succeeded in 2008 by Jindal.
Mann continued to work in the Blanco administration until 2006, when he joined LSU, from which forum he writes and speaks extensively on political topics. In addition to the Manship Chair, he was from 2011 to 2013 the director of the LSU Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs. At the centennial observance of the LSU School of Journalism, Mann reflected on the heritage of his institution: "We've gone from being a journalism school, to being a multi-dimensional mass communication school, to being all that, plus finding a way to teach practical politics to our students. I believe we are unique in that regard, and it really gives us a leg up in recruiting."
Mann's often-cited blog is called "Something Like the Truth: Robert Mann on Politics, Louisiana, and Life". He is highly critical of the Jindal administration, having in 2013 criticized the governor's position on health care and education. He also scolds Louisiana's Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter.
One of Mann's recent books, Daisy Petals and Mushroom Clouds: LBJ, Barry Goldwater and the Ad that Changed American Politics, according to The Washington Post, is one of the best political books of 2011. His other books include:
In February 2014, Mann, along with several other political figures, including John S. Hunt, II, a cousin of Senator Russell Long, and Senator Long's mother, Rose McConnell Long, were inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield.