Gann was born June 6, 1878 in Lufkin, Texas. His father was a cotton farmer. He started trading in 1902 when he was 24.[24] He was believed to be a great student of the Bible,[25][26] who believed that it was the greatest book ever written.[27] He was also a 33rd degree Freemason of the Scottish Rite Order,[28] to which some have attributed his knowledge of ancient mathematics, though he was also known to have studied the ancient Greek and Egyptian cultures.[29]