Mann's work includes the original story of Death in Venice, published in 1912.
He emigrated from Germany under the Nazis. In 1933 he moved to Switzerland, and then in 1942 to Pacific Palisades, California. He returned to Switzerland in 1952, living near Zürich until his death in 1955.
Mann married Katja Pringsheim, who belonged to a family of Jewish intellectuals, and they had six children, Klaus, Erika, Golo, Monika, Elisabeth and Michael.
Mann was educated at a high school in Lübeck, then at the University of Munich and the Technical University of Munich.
Mann's parents were Thomas Johann Heinrich Mann, a German senator and a grain merchant, and Júlia da Silva Bruhns, a Brazilian who had migrated to Germany at the age of seven.
Mann's daughter Erika married the poet W. H. Auden in a 'marriage of convenience'. Although they never lived together, they stayed married for more than thirty years.
Thomas Mann won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929.