George Speidel was part of a zoo dynasty. He married Mary Bean in 1939 whose father Edward Bean was director of Brookfield Zoo. He later moved to Racine, WI where he became director of the small zoo on the lakefront.

In 1947 he accepted the position of zoo director for the Washington Park Zoo in Milwaukee. Soon the zoo needed more space and the County purchased 165 acres in 1954 to house a brand new zoological park with a new name the Milwaukee County Zoo. The entire animal collection was moved from the old zoo to the new setting in 1963. Under Speidel’s direction an entire zoo was built in the theme of many European zoos with predator/prey exhibits. He served as director of the zoo until 1978.

George Speidel interview, courtesy of Milwaukee PBS.

Related Galleries

View All of Our Galleries