Carl is a native of Portland, Oregon, where he was born on April 3, 1943. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 1965 with a B.S. in History and in 1969 with a J. D. in Law. While practicing law to support his family, Mautz began collecting old photographs in 1972 and soon met legendary itinerant photo dealer Ken Appollo who taught him to appreciate the imprints on photographs which provided information about each photographer whose work was being collected.
In 1975, Mautz met Robert O. Brown, who lived a mile from his home in Portland. Brown had listed a number of photographers from imprints on cartes-de-viste and cabinet cards from western states. This list was included in a box of photographs Brown sold to Mautz, and it was from this list that the Checklist of Western Photographers was created and distributed by Mautz in 1975, eventually leading to this 772 page volume, Biographies of Western Photographers.
Mautz retired from law in 1995 and moved to Nevada City, California, where he published 25 books under the imprint of Carl Mautz Publishing. Most of the books published related to the history of photography but several were local California histories, two were poetry books, and two were memoirs by friends who had passed on.
Carl Mautz has two children, Aaron Robert Mautz and Amy Suzanne Mautz, three grandchildren, Amelia Sue Mautz, Isaac Emmet Mautz and Theo Aaron Kimball.