Bob Mann

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Robert Townley "Bob" Mann, Jr.

(Louisiana State University journalism professor)

Bob Mann-BW.jpg

Born September 2, 1958
Beaumont, Texas

Resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Political Party Democrat
Occupation Louisiana State University professor

Journalist, Political historian

Spouse Cynthia Ann "Cindy" Horaist Mann

Son Robert T. Mann, III

Robert Townley Mann, Jr., known as Bob Mann (born September 2, 1958), is a journalist and primarily political historian who is stepping down in May 2024 from his position as the Douglas Manship Chair of Journalism at Louisiana State University in the capital city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He also pens a weekly political column for The New Orleans Times-Picayune in New Orleans.

On October 15, 2023, the day after the election of Republican Jeff Landry as governor, Mann announced that he is leaving the journalism position in protest to voter choices in a low turnout election. "My reasons are simple: The person who will be governor in January has already asked LSU to fire me. And I have no confidence the leadership of this university would protect the Manship School [of Mass Communication] against a governor’s efforts to punish me and other faculty members"[1] It is unclear if Mann was already planning his retirement when he announced his resignation because of Landry's election. His critics claim that he is a "drama queen" seeking public recognition and approval from academic liberals.[2]


Mann is the son of Robert Mann, Sr. (1924-2008), a native of Beaumont, Texas, and the former Charlene Elizabeth Wellhausen (born c. 1935). The senior Mann died in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where their son, Paul Edward Mann (born 1962), resides. Bob Mann also 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.[3]

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 at Angola.[4]

Political life

Mann attended the University of Louisiana at Monroe, at which Dave Norris was his economics professor; from 1978 to 2018, Norris was the mayor of West Monroe located west of the Ouachita River in Ouachita Parish. After a stint with the since defunct Shreveport Journal in Shreveport, Louisiana, Mann worked for the Monroe News Star,[5] which assigned him to cover the West Monroe City Hall, which allowed him to renew his friendship with Mayor Norris.[6] He also attended California State University in Dominguez Hills, California.

A committed Democrat,[7] Mann joined the staff of U.S. Senator Russell Long of Louisiana late in Long's lengthy tenure in office. He continued as state director and press secretary 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 Blanco, the Lafayette Democrat who that year defeated Republican Bobby Jindal for governor of Louisiana but bowed out after one term, only to be succeeded in 2008 by Jindal.[5]

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 is the director of the LSU Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs.[8] 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.”[9] Mann's often-cited blog is called "Something Like the Truth on Politics, Louisiana, and Life".[5] He was highly critical of the Jindal administration on such matters as health care and education. He also scolds Louisiana's Republican former U.S. Senator David Vitter.[10] In his columns and blogs, he spoke warmly of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, Johnston's successor who has held the seat from 1997 to 2015. Landrieu was unseated in 2014 by the Republican U.S. Representative Bill Cassidy of Baton Rouge, who formerly held Louisiana's 6th congressional district seat. In 2013, however, Mann had reported on fundraising problems and low poll number in the early phase of Cassidy's campaign.[11]

Mann's blogs and writing have long drawn criticism from the conservative radio talk show host, Moon Griffon, who broadcasts statewide from Lafayette.


One of Mann's books, Daisy Petals and Mushroom Clouds: LBJ, Barry Goldwater and the Ad that Changed American Politics, which according to The Washington Post, is one of the best political books of 2011.

His other books include:

  • A Journalist’s Diplomatic Mission: Ray Stannard Baker’s World War I Diary, edited with John Maxwell Hamilton, Louisiana State University Press, 2012.
  • Political Communication: The Manship School Guide, edited with David Perlmutter, LSU Press, 2011.
  • Wartime Dissent in America: A History and Anthology, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
  • When Freedom Would Triumph: The Civil Rights Struggle in Congress, 1954-1968, LSU Press, 2007.
  • A Grand Delusion: America's Descent into Vietnam, Basic Books, 2001.
  • The Walls of Jericho: Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Richard Russell and the Struggle for Civil Rights, Harcourt Brace, 1996.
  • The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Cold War, Alpha Books, 2002.
  • Legacy to Power: Senator Russell Long of Louisiana, Paragon House, 1992.[5]

Hall of Fame induction

In February 2014, Mann, along with several other political figures, including the late John S. Hunt, a cousin of Senator Russell Long, and Senator Long's mother, Rose McConnell Long, was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield.[8] In 2017, West Monroe Mayor Dave Norris received the same honor as his former student. In 2018, Norris lost his re-lection bid after forty years in office to Republican city council member Staci Albritton Mitchell.


  1. AJ McDougall (October 16, 2023). LSU Prof Resigns After Politician He’s Shared Years-Long Beef With Is Elected Guv. The Daily Beast.
  2. The Moon Griffon Show, October 18, 2023.
  3. Robert Townley Mann, Sr.. The Beaumont Enterprise, August 13, 2008. Retrieved on October 18, 2013.
  4. Mark H. Hunter, Film follows inmate actors in Jesus play at Angola prison, July 23, 2013. The Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. Retrieved on October 18, 2013.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 About Bob Mann. Retrieved on October 18, 2013.
  6. Three Tiger Stadiums Filled With Poor Children: The Scandal of Poverty in Louisiana. (June 12, 2012). Retrieved on October 29, 2013.
  7. Robert Townley Mann, Jr.. Retrieved on October 18, 2013.
  8. 8.0 8.1 LSU’s Mann elected to Louisiana Political Hall of Fame, September 7, 2013. Retrieved on October 18, 2013.
  9. Billy Gomila. Manship School of Mass Communication celebrates 100 years of journalism education. Retrieved on December 11, 2013.
  10. Don't buy Bobby Jindal's line on health care or education: Robert Mann, September 27, 2013. New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved on October 18, 2013.
  11. Dismal numbers: Polling and fundraising woes bedevil Cassidy's campaign against Landrieu. (October 16, 2013). Retrieved on October 18, 2013.