Vasco Myron Tanner was born October 29, 1892 in Payson, Utah to Myron and Louis Ann Tanner. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in biology from Brigham Young University in 1915. He served as head of the biology department at Dixie Junior College before he left to continue his education at the University of Utah, earning and Master of Science in Geology in 1920. Afterward, he returned to Dixie Junior College and married Annie Atkin. He eventually became an entomologist and professor of zoology at Brigham Young University. He published over 140 scientific articles, mostly focusing on insects, but also researching birds, mammals, reptiles and fishes, and founded the journal The Great Basin Naturalist. He died April 25, 1989 in Provo, Utah.