Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Mark Bowden  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1951 in St. Louis, Missouri

-- Mark Bowden on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Mark grew up in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Mark Bowden is a bestselling author, journalist, educator, and film producer. He is the author of ''The Best Game Ever'', ''Bringing the Heat'', ''Killing Pablo, and Guests of the Ayatollah''. His book ''Black Hawk Down; A Story of Modern War'', is an international bestseller, which spent more than a year on The New York Times bestseller list and was a finalist for the National Book Award. It is a story of the bloody 1993 battle American soldiers fought in Mogadishu, Somalia. In 2001, it was made into a feature film directed by Ridley Scott.For 22 years, he wrote a weekly column for ''The Philadelphia Inquirer''. Over the years he has written for ''Vanity Fair'', ''The Atlantic Monthly'', ''The New Yorker'', ''Men's Journal'', ''Sports Illustrated'' and ''Rolling Stone''. He also teaches creative writing and journalism as an adjunct professor at Loyola College of Maryland. Bowden currently resides in Oxford, Pennsylvania.

Published Works

  • Doctor Dealer: The Rise and Fall of an All-American Boy and his Multimillion-Dollar Cocaine Empire, Warner Books, 1987
  • Bringing The Heat, Knopf, 1994
  • Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, Atlantic Monthly Press, 1999
  • Killing Pablo: The Hunt for the World's Greatest Outlaw, Penguin, 2001
  • Finders Keepers the Story of Joe, Atlantic Books, 2002
  • Our Finest Day: D-Day, June 6, 1944, Chronicle, 2002
  • Finders Keepers: The Story of a Man Who Found $1 Million , Atlantic Monthly Press, 2002
  • Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006
  • Road Work: Among Tyrants, Heroes, Rogues, and Beasts, Penguin, 2006
  • The Best Game Ever: Giants vs. Colts, 1958, and the Birth of the Modern NFL, Grove Press, 2009
  • Worm: The First Digital World War, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2011
  • The Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2012

Selected Titles At Your Library

Doctor dealer /
ISBN: 0802137571. OCLC Number:

Grove Press.,. New York :. ©2001.

Bringing the heat /
ISBN: 0871137720. OCLC Number:

Atlantic Monthly Press,. New York :. 2000.

Bringing the Heat is the story of one team's season-long campaign for the NFL championship, told through the personal stories of the men on the field and the coaches, managers, and owner on the sidelines. The team is the 1992 Philadelphia Eagles, a group of players assembled in the iconoclastic image of their former head coach Buddy Ryan. They are known throughout the league for their ferocious defense and for the otherworldly talents of their quarterback Randall Cunningham. Award-winning journalist Mark Bowden gets deep inside the world of professional football in a way no writer has ever done before, with an insightful and hilarious portrait of one of the most exciting teams ever to play the game. He spares none of the game's ugliness - the greed, the racism, and the often sadistic violence - while capturing the beauty of athleticism at its highest level, the courage of men who face each play knowing that one bad hit can end a career, and above all the exultant glory of victory that inspires their struggle to be the best.

Black Hawk down :
ISBN: 0871137380. OCLC Number:

. .

An operation to abduct a Somali warlord in 1993 Mogadishu leaves 18 Americans dead, 70 wounded and several helicopters destroyed. Filled with imagery--a Somali gunman attacks, riding a cow, a gunwoman fights with a baby on her arm--the book is based on interviews with participants on both sides. The testimony illustrates the military's arrogance and the hate it engendered in the population. By a reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer, author of Bringing the Heat.

Killing Pablo :
ISBN: 0142000957. OCLC Number:

Atlantic Monthly Press,. New York :. ©2001.

"Killing Pablo is the inside story of the brutal rise and violent fall of Colombian cocaine cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar, whose criminal empire held a nation of thirty million hostage - a reign of terror that would end only with his death. In an intense, up-close account, best-selling author and award-winning journalist Mark Bowden exposes the never-before-revealed details of how U.S. operatives covertly led the sixteen-month manhunt." "Drawing on unprecedented access to the soldiers, field agents, and officials involved in the chase, as well as hundreds of pages of top-secret documents and transcripts of Escobar's intercepted phone conversations, Bowden creates a gripping narrative that reads as if it were torn from the pages of a military technothriller. At every phase, he brings to life the men who brought the drug lord down. There is the Colombian president, Cesar Gaviria, afraid for his life and the future of his nation, who is forced to do the unthinkable: allow a foreign military to operate within his country's borders. There is the U.S. ambassador, Morris D. Busby, who brings in the most sophisticated surveillance team in the world, code-named Centra Spike, and the best team of manhunters, the mysterious Delta Force. And there is the leader of the Colombian forces, Colonel Hugo Martinez, an incorruptible man who lives under constant threat during the drug lord's reign - and whose own son plays a critical role on the fateful day when Pablo is finally found."--Jacket.

Finders keepers
ISBN: 1843541106. OCLC Number:

Atlantic Books,. London :. 2002.

"When Joey Coyle found two containers lying in the street ... he thought he had broken his run of bad luck. They had just fallen off the back of an armoured van and contained $1.2 million in cash. Finders Keepers tells the story of what happened to Coyle and his secret cache: how he struggled to keep his find a secret, all the time terrified he was going to be killed by the money's true owners."--Back cover.

Our finest day :
ISBN: 0811830500. OCLC Number:

Chronicle Books ;. San Francisco :. ©2002.

Finders keepers :
ISBN: 087113859X. OCLC Number:

Atlantic Monthly Press,. New York :. ©2002.

Chronicles the true story of a longshoreman from South Philadelphia who found $1 million lost from a casino and promptly shared it with everyone he knew.

Guests of the Ayatollah :
ISBN: 0871139251. OCLC Number:

Atlantic Monthly Press,. New York :. ©2006.

A chronicle of the Iran hostage crisis, America's first battle with militant Islam. On November 4, 1979, a group of radical Islamist students, inspired by the revolutionary Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini, stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran. They took 52 Americans hostage, and kept nearly all of them hostage for 444 days. Journalist Bowden tells the story through the eyes of the hostages, the soldiers in a new special forces unit sent to free them, their radical, naïve captors, and the diplomats working to end the crisis. Bowden takes us inside the hostages' cells and inside the Oval Office for meetings with President Carter and his exhausted team. We travel to international capitals where shadowy figures held clandestine negotiations, and to the deserts of Iran, where a courageous, desperate attempt to rescue the hostages exploded into tragic failure.--From publisher description.

Road work :
ISBN: 0143036734. OCLC Number:

Penguin Books,. New York :. 2006.

The best game ever :
ISBN: 0802144128. OCLC Number:

Grove Press,. New York :. ©2009.

Recreates the drama of Johnny Unitas's heroics in the 1958 sudden-death classic between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants.

Worm :
ISBN: 0802119832. OCLC Number:

Atlantic Monthly Press,. New York :. ©2011.

Journalist Mark Bowden delivers a look at the ongoing and largely unreported war taking place literally beneath our fingertips. When the Conficker computer worm was unleashed on the world in November 2008, cybersecurity experts did not know what to make of it. Was it a platform for criminal profit, or a weapon? The worm, exploiting security flaws in Microsoft Windows, grew at an astonishing rate, infecting millions of computers around the world within weeks. Once the worm infiltrated one system it was able to link that system with others to form a single network under illicit outside control, a situation known as a "botnet," soon capable of overpowering any of the vital computer networks that today control banking, telephone service, energy flow, air traffic, health-care information, even the Internet itself. This book reports on the battle between those determined to exploit the Internet and those committed to protect it.--From publisher description.

The finish :
ISBN: 0802120342. OCLC Number:

Atlantic Monthly Press :. New York :. ©2012.

This work is a dramatic account of the hunt for and defeat of Osama bin Laden draws on unprecedented access to primary sources to trace how key decisions were made, revealing events from the perspectives of an adept President Obama and an increasingly despondent bin Laden. After masterminding the attacks of September 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden managed to vanish. Over the next ten years, as the author shows, America found that its war with al Qaeda, a scattered group of individuals who were almost impossible to track, demanded an innovative approach. Step by step, the author describes the development of a new tactical strategy to fight this war, the fusion of intel from various agencies and on the ground special ops. After thousands of special forces missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the right weapon to go after bin Laden had finally evolved. By Spring 2011, intelligence pointed to a compound in Abbottabad; it was estimated that there was a 50/50 chance that Osama was there. The author shows how three strategies were mooted: a drone strike, a precision bombing, or an assault by Navy SEALs. In the end, the President had to make the final decision. It was time for the finish.


Overseas Press Club's Cornelius Ryan Award as the best book of 2001 for

Killing Pablo

Finalist, National Book Award in 1999 for

Black Hawk Down

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)