About Louis DiSabato

Louis DiSabato
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San Antonio Zoo: San Antonio, Texas

Director Emeritus

Louis DiSabato starting working at the Columbus Zoo at the age of 15 cleaning bathrooms and parking cars. After serving in the Korean War, he returned to Ohio and was immediately offered a job as mammal curator for the Columbus Zoo. As a young zoologist Louie DiSabato was a witness to the first captive lowland gorilla birth. In 1960 he became director of the Columbus Zoo but left three years later to move to Rochester to become director of the Seneca Park Zoo. This opportunity would allow him to design a zoo from the bottom up. But Rochester was to experience their worst race riots in their history. Plans for the new zoo was on the back burner. However, Louis made many changes and brought in a lot of animals to the zoo. By the time he left, five years later, people were much happier with the zoo then they had ever been.

In 1968 Louis DiSabato accepted the position as director at the San Antonio zoo and immediately began to re-green the zoo creating an impressive botanical collection. In 1971 he was named a director of the newly formed American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums (AAZPA). President Reagan nominated Director DiSabato to be a member of the National Museum Services Board of the Institute of Museum Services, National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities.