Who is Jack Hanna's wife Suzi Egli? Inside celebrity zookeeper's 53-year-old marriage amid dementia diagnosis
Iconic TV show host Jack Hanna has been diagnosed with dementia and has taken retirement from public life
Celebrity zookeeper and iconic TV show host Jack Hanna is retiring from public life due to dementia, his family announced Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Hanna’s family confirmed the news on his official Twitter account and noted that the beloved animal expert has been diagnosed with the chronic disease.
The family also added that it’s believed he now has Alzheimer’s disease that has quickly progressed in the recent months. “Doctors have diagnosed our dad, Jack Hanna, with dementia, now believed to be Alzheimer's disease. His condition has progressed much faster in the last few months than any of us could have anticipated. Sadly, Dad is no longer able to participate in public life as he used to, where people all over the world watched, learned, and laughed alongside him,” Hanna’s family wrote in a statement.
A letter from the Hanna Family pic.twitter.com/ewuNYa0ReG— Jack Hanna (@JungleJackHanna) April 7, 2021
He was the director of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium from 1978 to 1992. Hanna is also well-known for his appearances on talk shows hosted by Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Maury Povich, and James Corden.
His live animal demonstrations on talk shows took the popularity of Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on a whole new level.
Hanna might retire from public life but one thing remains a constant: his wife, Suzi Egli. The beloved animal expert has been married to Suzi for 53 years and they have three daughters together. The statement also paid tribute to his wife Suzi who has always been by his side through every storm of life.
Let’s dig deeper and get to know more about Suzi, who has been by his side for more than five decades.
Who is Suzi Egli Hanna?
Suzi Egli Hanna is a wildlife conservationist and media personality who has been married to Jack Hanna for 53 years. According to Jack’s memoir, ‘Jungle Jack: My Wild Life’, the couple met each other while studying at Muskingum University in Ohio. Egli was the captain of the university’s cheerleading squad at the time. In his memoir, he also stated that he kept on talking about his “pet donkey” whenever they met and that’s how they became friends.
Suzi, who studied physical education and health at Muskingum University, was called to give the commencement speech to the graduating class of 2017. The university praised the wildlife enthusiast for her work and noted that she is an “inspiring example of “the limitless impact that each one of us can have when we engage with and serve others.”
The viewers have seen Suzi and Hanna traveling the world together, and she was also his co-star on the series ‘Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild’.
Talking about their adventures, she once told Columbus Monthly that one of the biggest moments in their lives came when they helped the gorillas in Columbia Zoo. The duo helped to transition gorillas out of their cages. “And for those gorillas to come out and walk on grass for the first time — I even get chills now, when I think about it,” Suzi said.
Jack and Suzi share three children – Kathaleen, Suzanne, and Julie. Kathaleen is now a married woman while Suzanne and Julie are still very much part of their family’s business.