Mark Kurlansky was born in Hartford, Connecticut. After receiving a BA in Theater from Butler University in 1970, and refusing to serve in the military, Kurlansky worked in New York as a playwright.
He worked many other jobs including as a commercial fisherman, a dock worker, a paralegal, a cook, and a pastry chef.
In the mid 1970s, unhappy with the direction New York theater was taking, he turned to journalism, an early interest–he had been an editor on his high school newspaper. From 1976 to 1991 he worked as a foreign correspondent for The International Herald Tribune, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
His articles have appeared in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, including The International Herald Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Miami Herald, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine, Partisan Review, Harper’s, New York Times Sunday Magazine, Audubon Magazine, Food & Wine, Gourmet, Bon Apetit and Parade.
He has had 28 books published including fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books.