A Lifetime of Stories


When the roll is called for the world’s best known outdoor writers, count on Mark Sosin to be somewhere in the discussion.  The New Jersey native who now makes his home in Boca Raton, Florida has been chasing fishing stories for the last five decades throughout the world.

The countless anecdotes that weren’t told over the airwaves or in print during those adventures now are, in Sosin’s 30th book, "Mark Sosin, a Sportsman’s Memoir." 

During a recent appearance on West Virginia Outdoors, Sosin admitted he never set out to be a world-renowned television host or writer, it just evolved over time.

"My training was for management in industry.  The last job I had was for Revlon and I used to tell the ladies I was a test pilot in the lipstick division,” laughed Sosin. "We came down to a parting of the ways.  I was single.  I had a boat.  It was summertime, time to go fishing."

The night after he left the corporate world, Sosin had a conversation with a friend about his future.   Sosin planned to just find another job from which he could retire in corporate America.  The friend suggested finding a job involving fishing since it was his lifelong passion and a new career was born.

During the early days, Sosin was a trailblazer.  There were precious few outdoor themed magazines and even fewer radio and television shows geared toward the outdoors.  Sosin began writing newspaper articles and eventually graduated to magazine stories.   He was hired to cover outdoors topics for CBS Radio in New York.  During those years he worked with broadcast legends Charles Osgood, Ed Bradley, Pat Summerall, and Harry Kramer.

"I had a face for radio,” laughs Sosin. "I spent five years broadcasting eight two-minute segments each week and I enjoyed every broadcast."

Eventually, Sosin teamed with an Arkansas production company to produce his first television shows.   The same company successfully produced shows for Bill Dance and Roland Martin.   Eventually, Sosin found an unfilled niche, coverage of saltwater fishing.   He developed the Mark Sosin Saltwater Journal, the first show dedicated exclusively to ocean fishing.  Over time, he migrated to his own in-house production work.    His show first aired on ESPN during the network’s infancy and eventually moved to The Nashville Network (TNN) and The Outdoor Channel.  Still in production today, the show airs only on Fox Sports Florida.

"Almost fifty years have passed since I ‘temporarily’ chose to take the path less travelled and carve out a ‘brief’ career as an outdoor communicator," Sosin writes in his memoirs. "In retrospect, the decision to blaze a new trail with machete in hand proved to be the right one for me."

Sosin, an affable storyteller, has a million tales from his travels.  His book details 350.   He proudly proclaims the book includes everything from his favorite outhouse to the time he had three-seconds to live.

Readers are regaled with stories of airport security sweeps, which turn into near international incidents and fishing with his dad off the coast of New Jersey as a German U-Boat destroys a commercial vessel hauling fuel into port during World War II.

Sosin’s stories range from funny and witty to deadly serious. In one account, Sosin and a buddy team up to make a snobby hostess believe one of them was an ex-con.   Hilarity ensues when he convinces total strangers he and his production crew are a travelling band of roofers. Despite his fame as a television host, Sosin explains the time he made a young female reporter in Dallas believe she’d made his lifelong dream reality by interviewing him on television about the new airport. There’s also the time he winds up in a boarding house with a band of drunken roustabouts in New Orleans and their hired hookers ask him to autograph their ample breasts.   Sosin writes he didn’t do it–but considered signing Roland Martin’s name to the lady’s cleavage. 

Readers will be amazed at how close Mark has come to death on more than one occasion.   A near collision aboard a prop plane in the jungles of Chile left only three to five seconds between life and death.    Mark also details the grisly account of having machine guns pointed at him when a communist guard discovers a pocketknife in his pants.   During a trip to Greenland a long hike in thin air puts the outcome yet again in doubt.

"People ask me, ‘Why did you go there?  Why did you do it?’" said Sosin. "Well, I wasn’t very smart and as someone once said, if you’re dumb, you gotta’ be tough."

Sosin admits it was his lifetime partner, colleague, associate, best friend, and wife Susan who convinced him to write the book.  

"Susan would tell me, ‘You’re becoming an old storyteller.  Why not write some of those stories down in a book form so more people can enjoy them?’" Sosin writes in the forward of the book. "Like water over a rock, she convinced me that committing these stories to print was something I should really do."

Thanks to Susan, the ages will remember some of the most fascinating tales of a seasoned angler and journalist told in his own words.  

You can order a copy of the book by clicking HERE.


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