Rodney Loomer Mott was born on November 2, 1896 in Pullman, Washington. He received his AB degree from Stanford in 1917, his MA degree in 1918 from the University of Wisconsin, and in 1922 he received his PhD degree from the University of Wisconsin. In 1918 he was a private in the American infantry. He married Harriett Mott and they have one daughter, Patricia.
Rodney Mott had a very long and varied career in the field of academics. From January 1919 to June 1920 he was an instructor with the Eureka (California) Public Schools. In August of 1922 until July of 1923 Mott was an instructor in political science at the University of Minnesota. He was a Social Science Research fellow with the Social Science Research Council in France from January to August 1929. He was visiting professor of political science at American University, Washington, D.C. from July through August 1931. He was an instructor and then assistant professor of political science at the University of Chicago from 1923 to 1932. For four years, from 1930 to 1934, Mott served as a research consultant and managing editor for the American Legislators Association in Chicago (This was an organization of public officials which was a legislative reference clearing center for state legislators. The organization prepared bulletins on legislative and public administrative problems, and edited State Government magazine). From 1934 to 1943 he was connected with the Public Finance Branch of the government.
In 1943 he received his army commission and began the Civil Affairs Training Program. He was sent abroad in 1944 and stayed until 1946 in occupied Germany. It is here that he along with other officers and civilian staff reorganized Germany.