Mark Orwoll

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Mark Orwoll
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Born (1953-12-03) December 3, 1953 (age 70)
Alma materSan Francisco State University (M.A. English, 1985), San Diego State University (B.A. Journalism, 1978)
OccupationJournalist and author
Years active1978 -
Known forTravel writing. Author of John Wayne Speaks and SAMS Teach Yourself e-Travel Today.
Spouse(s)Kathleen Fox, 1983 -

Mark Orwoll is an American author and journalist known for his print and online travel writing, as well as two books.


Orwoll was born in 1953 at St. Francis Medical Center (Lynwood) in Los Angeles County, California. His family moved in 1955 to La Mirada, California, a new suburb 20 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, where he was raised. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from San Diego State University in 1978. While enrolled at SDSU, Orwoll served as copy editor and news editor of The Daily Aztec. He earned a Master of Arts in English at San Francisco State University in January 1985. He is married with three children.


Orwoll began his professional career as a reporter for the The Star-News (Chula Vista, California) (1978-79). He then became a staff writer at The Reader, an alternative weekly in San Diego (1979-1981), an affiliate of the Chicago Reader. He moved to New York City in 1981 and took a position as features editor at Woman's World (1981). He then signed on as Business Editor of the now-defunct American Salon before enrolling in graduate school in San Francisco in August 1983. After returning to New York in 1985, he was hired as senior editor of the inflight magazine for US Airways. In 1987, he became a staff editor, features writer, and columnist at Travel + Leisure, where over the course of three decades he was associate editor, senior editor, managing editor, international editor, and executive editor/international[1]. He retired from Travel + Leisure after 30 years in 2017 and is now a full-time freelance writer and author.

As a travel writer, Orwoll focuses on articles about food, wine, offbeat destinations, and cultural immersion.[2] His writing has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler[3], Travel + Leisure[4], United Airlines' Hemispheres[5], Saturday Evening Post[6], the Travel Channel[7],[8],[9], and other prominent print and online outlets.

He is the author of John Wayne Speaks[10] (St. Martin's Griffin, 2021), a collection of more than 1,100 movie quotes from that actor (sourced to identify a particular film for each quote), as well as an overview of Wayne's career and reviews of the actor's 173 movies, including production notes. In 1999, while working as an editor and "Smart Traveler" columnist at Travel + Leisure, Orwoll was approached by Macmillan Inc. to write a book for its SAMS Teach Yourself series about planning travel online, at the time still a relatively new way to research and book vacations. After its North American publication, the book, SAMS Teach Yourself e-Travel Today,[11] was also published in Greek and Hebrew. Orwoll is the author of a thriller, Cross Purposes,[12] to be published in September 2023 by Pleasant Villain Press.

Orwoll is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW),[13] the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA),[14] and the New York Travel Writers Association.[15]

Personal Life

Orwoll married Kathleen Fox at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Forest Hills, Queens, New York, in 1983. They have lived in Pleasantville, New York, in the Lower Hudson Valley, since 1995. They have three children. Orwoll is an amateur musician who plays guitar, mandolin, and keyboards, and has an active music-related presence on Youtube.[16] He was variously a volunteer stage manager and performer during the first 17 years of the Pleasantville Music Festival, the village's premier annual cultural event; he retired from participation following the 2022 festival. In 2021, Orwoll filmed and produced a documentary about the history and attractions of the village where he lives, titled "In the REAL Pleasantville."[17] The documentary's soundtrack was written by his daughter, the composer and playwright Gillian Orwoll.[18][19]


  1. "Mark Orwoll's Biography | Muck Rack". Retrieved 2023-08-09.
  2. "mark orwoll – Writer". 2022-07-24. Retrieved 2023-08-09.
  3. Nast, Condé (2017-07-18). "How Cruising Has Changed in the Past 40 Years". Condé Nast Traveler. Retrieved 2023-08-09.
  4. Orwoll, Mark (2023-07-18). "This Scenic 30-hour Overnight Train Through Turkey Feels Like the Orient Express — but Costs Less Than $60". Travel + Leisure. Retrieved 2023-08-09.
  5. Orwoll, Mark (2018-09-01). "The Vintage: Promised Vineland". Hemispheres. Retrieved 2023-08-09.
  6. Orwoll, Mark (2017-12-21). "Thundering Herd: The Great Bison Round-Up of Custer State Park". The Saturday Evening Post. Retrieved 2023-08-09.
  7. "10 Things to Do in Mysterious Georgia". Travel Channel. Retrieved 2023-08-09.
  8. Orwoll, Mark (2017-06-27). "7 Days on the Mekong: How the Saddest River in Asia Made Me Smile". Fodors Travel Guide. Retrieved 2023-08-09.
  9. "How to See Chile When You Have Less Than a Week | Frommer's". Retrieved 2023-08-09.
  10. Orwoll, Mark (2021-11-09). John Wayne Speaks: The Ultimate John Wayne Quote Book. St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 978-1-250-81583-5.
  11. Orwoll, Mark (1999-12-21). Sams Teach Yourself e-Travel Today (1st ed.). Sams. ISBN 978-0-672-31822-1.
  12. "Mark Orwoll: books, biography, latest update". Retrieved 2023-08-09.
  13. "- SATW". SATW. Retrieved 2023-08-09.
  14. "Homepage". North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA). 2023-06-30. Retrieved 2023-08-09.
  15. "New York Travel Writers – New York Travel Writers". Retrieved 2023-08-09.
  16. "Mark Orwoll - YouTube". Retrieved 2023-08-09.
  17. It Actually Exists! In the REAL Pleasantville (New York), retrieved 2023-08-09
  18. "Gillian Fox Orwoll Composer". SoundCloud. Retrieved 2023-08-09.
  19. "Bloom". Bloom. Retrieved 2023-08-09.

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