AN UNLIKELY JOURNEY
Make a Difference. Go Good. Have Fun.
Mark W. Erwin
Foreword by Bill Clinton
Designed and published
by Goosepen Studio & Press
for Ambassador Mark Erwin
and the Memoirs and Occasional
Papers Series of the Association
for Diplomatic Studies and Training
Cloth: $24.95 | 240 pages | 5.25" by 9" | ISBN 978-0-9793631-8-4 | Spring 2013
B orn into a family of wealth and privilege during World War II, Mark Erwin’s childhood was less than normal or happy. The son of a free-spirited, socialite mother who was used to getting whatever she desired, he witnessed her decline into depression, alcoholism, and despair, which almost destroyed the family. This could be called a story of “riches to rags and back to riches,” with plenty of life lessons between.
As a teen he was headed straight for disaster when he met his Lord while locked up in juvenile hall at age sixteen. A kindly judge, perhaps in response to Mark’s prayers, gave him a chance to redeem himself.
An Unlikely Journey follows his miraculous path from this rocky beginning to the curious and extraordinary places and positions neither Mark nor his family and closest friends could have ever envisioned.
With no financial resources, little education, and few prospects, he overcame many challenges to achieve success in business, philanthropy, politics, diplomacy, and life, developing along the way a credo to “Make a Difference. Do Good. Have Fun.”
Erwin is truly a self-made man, though for all of his accomplishments, he considers his family the greatest achievement. His wife, Joan, and he have been married forty-four years and have reared two wonderful daughters, who in turn have rewarded them with three beautiful granddaughters.
MARK ERWIN is a businessman and United States Ambassador appointed by President William Jefferson Clinton to the Republic of Mauritius, the Republic of Seychelles, and the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros between 1999 and 2001. Also an investor, sportsman, philanthropist, ordained lay minister, and fair golfer, he is the recipient of many honors, including an honorary doctorate in humane letters, several honorary knighthoods, and the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the state of North Carolina, and has served on the boards of over thirty civic, charitable, cultural, and educational organizations. His books include Life’s Lessons: Lines of Wisdom from a Faithful Stream, which he co-authored with renowned artist Bob Timberlake, and The Practical Ambassador: A Common Sense Guide for United States Ambassadors, which is now part of the curriculum of the Foreign Service Institute at the State Department. He and his wife, Joan, their two daughters and three beautiful granddaughters, and Dolly, their Lab, all live in Charlotte, North Carolina.