Mark Erwin is the President of Erwin Capital, Inc., Board Member of the Council of American Ambassadors, Former U.S. Ambassador and Author of The Powers: 12 Principles to Transform Your life From Ordinary to Extraordinary.


mark-erwin-booksBorn in Coral Gables, Florida, Mark’s opportunities to learn from difficult experiences started early. Born into a wealthy family, Mark’s mother struggled with mental health issues most of her life. By his teen years the family had lost nearly all of their wealth and they had gone from “riches to rags.” Mark began rebelling and was expelled from high school for non attendance.

Mark’s life was transformed when in 1961 at the age 16 he was arrested for forging checks. Given the choice of going to jail for 4 years or enlisting in the military, Mark served in the United States Air Force. With newfound discipline and determination, Mark decided to turn his life around.

After working his way through the University of Tennessee, Mark began his real estate career at United Parcel Service as a real estate manager in 1969. Deciding to branch out and work for himself, Mark created a property development and investment company in 1978. Through this, Mark developed shopping centers, offices and residential, while also acquiring investment properties. In 1982 he and a partner created Crosland Erwin Associates in Charlotte, NC and went on to develop several million square feet of commercial and mixed use projects. In 1991, Mark sold his interest in the development company to his partner and created Erwin Capital, Inc. to hold his family investments.

Mark went on to serve the Clinton Administration in two positions. President Clinton first appointed him to the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. He was later asked to serve as United States Ambassador to a regional embassy serving the Republic of Mauritius, the Republic of the Seychelles and the Federal Islamic Republic of Comoros.

Bill Clinton Global Initiative MeetingAmbassador Erwin has served on the boards of over thirty-five civic, charitable, and educational organizations. He was an Adjunct Professor at the Business School of Winthrop University for several years. He received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Winthrop University as well as the “Order of the Long Leaf Pine” from the Governor of North Carolina. Mark was also ordained as a Minister of the Methodist Church. Over the years he has been awarded several honorary knighthoods.

An author, his books include Life’s Lessons: Lines of Wisdom from a Faithful Stream, and Headed Home: Providences of Laughter, Love and Joy, both of which he co-authored with renowned artist Bob Timberlake, and The Practical Ambassador: A Common Sense Guide for United States Ambassadors, which became part of the curriculum of the Foreign Service Institute at the State Department. His memoir, An Unlikely Journey is based on his personal story of overcoming early disaster to pursue a life filled with adventure and success.

Mark’s newest release, The Powers: 12 Principles to Transform Your Life from Ordinary to Extraordinary will provide readers with insight into recognizing the powers within them and how to use these powers to achieve extraordinary results in their chosen paths. The book also provides many examples of ordinary people who have harnessed their own powers to achieve the extraordinary.

He and his wife, Joan, maintain a residence in Charlotte, North Carolina. They have two daughters, Jennifer and Melissa and four grandchildren, Della, Lila, Virginia and Thomas Erwin Highsmith. When not working, Mark is an avid golfer and also enjoys world travels.

Watch Former U.S. Ambassador Mark Erwin Welcome You to Charlotte, NC

Before you can achieve any big goal, you have to have a vision of exactly where you’re trying to go.

A Miracle for the Journey - Author Mark Erwin
5 out of 5 based on 2 customer ratings
The Practical Ambassador by: Mark Erwin $19.85
5 out of 5 based on 6 customer ratings
An Unlikely Journey by: Mark Erwin $19.95
Headed Home by: Mark Erwin $29.85
The Powers by Mark Erwin
5 out of 5 based on 12 customer ratings
The Powers by: Mark Erwin $15.24
Melinda Naumann Bates No avatar Former Special Assistant to the President and Director, White House Visitors Office at The White House
" Mark Erwin is an amazing man who has had an amazing life (from juvenile delinquent to US Ambassador) and has now written a wonderful book to help others figure out their lives and live the best they can. This is his legacy and I so admire him for it. "
Bill Clinton No avatar Former U.S. President
" Throughout his life Mark has combined his dedication to hard work and his devotion to his family, with a deep commitment to public service. He has tried to repay his country and his community for the opportunities he has been given, and these same chances to the next generation. Mark's life is a great American story and I'm glad he's chosen to tell it. "
John Dodd No avatar President, Jesse Helms Center
" In “The Powers” author Mark Erwin has harnessed the “wisdom of the ages” by telling the stories of some of the world's most interesting and successful people; while detailing the values and character traits that brought them success. This should be required reading for all students entering their senior year of high school! "
Mark Lehman No avatar Friend
" I just finished The Powers and wanted to let you know how encouraging it is. I will read it again and again. The chapter entitled The Power of Words spoke loudest to me. Thank you! "
Jeanette Hyde No avatar Ambassador
" I thoroughly enjoyed reading your book. I truly could not put it down. A fascinating life you have lived. You are an inspiration to anyone of any age as to the possibilities one has if one will persevere. I admire you tremendously and will be buying your book for graduation and other gifts - For Your People - But For All of My "OLD" Friends Also. You Can Quote Me!!! "