Legendary fishing writer and television fishing personality Mark Sosin died on Thursday, June 30, 2022, in Boca Raton, Florida. He was 88 years old.
Mark Jessurun Sosin was born on July 7, 1933, in Highland Park, New Jersey. Under the tutelage of his father, he fell in love with fishing as a young boy and enjoyed several trips to Florida before he was 10 years old. He caught his first bonefish at age nine.
In a 2004 interview with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Sosin was quoted as saying, “My father — at a time when nobody was — was a conservationist. He’d take what he needed and put the rest back.” It was a philosophy that Sosin would follow for the rest of his life. In fact, close friends say they never saw him keep a fish and that he abhorred tournaments because they targeted large brood stock fish.
Sosin graduated from the prestigious Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and subsequently earned a master’s degree in business administration from New York University. He planned to become a lawyer, but his education was interrupted by four years of active service in the U.S. Navy. When he was discharged, he went to work with a company that made electrical wire and cable, then took a position with Revlon and later worked as a management consultant.
All during this time, he fished along the New Jersey shore and dreamed of making his passion into a career. In the 1960s, he began writing magazine articles and books on fishing. From 1968 to 1973, he worked for WCBS Radio in New York, doing short segments on fishing, hunting, camping, and conservation.
In 1979, he and his wife, Susan, moved to Boca Raton, Florida. A few years later, he got into television, launching “Mark Sosin’s Saltwater Journal” in 1983.
“When I looked at the marketplace, there were guys doing bass shows,” he was quoted as saying in 2004. “I went for the hole in the market and did a saltwater show. The gurus and pundits at the time told me a show like that wouldn’t last to its second season.” In fact, Sosin’s program ran for 27 years, making it one of the longest-running fishing programs in television history.
All the while, Sosin was writing magazine articles (more than 3,000 in his career according to some estimates) and books (more than two dozen). Though most of his work was on saltwater fishing, he also wrote two bass books with Bill Dance, a knot book with Lefty Kreh, and a conservation book on the Everglades.
Many of his book titles feature phrases like “how to” and “practical” which clearly display his focus on education. And it’s almost certainly true that’s where Sosin achieved his greatest impact. He helped to teach generations of anglers how to fish and how to care for the resource.
Funeral plans have not been made public.