Ben D. Mahaffey was born in Midwest, Wyoming in 1932 to Roy Ray and Bertha Margaret Karman. He has earned the following degrees: AA, Casper College, Wyoming; BS, Colorado State University; MS, Ph.D. Texas A&M University. He has received the National Fellow Award from the Association of Interpretive Naturalists and the Medal of Valor from the Safari Club International. He has hunted and fished for 70 years on four continents, 11 lower states and Alaska. He was married to the former Barbara Alice Proud for 58 years. She died in 2012. In 2013, he married Bonita Agee of Birmingham, Alabama. He is the parent of three sons: Mark of Reno, Nevada; Clark of Mesa, Arizona and Scott of Riley, Kansas. He has nine grandchildren. He resides in St. George, Utah.