Erwin is the son of World War II veteran Red Erwin. A baseball standout at Ensley High School, Erwin graduated in 1967 and went on to play baseball at Troy State University, graduating in 1972. Erwin also earned a bachelor of arts at Southwestern Bible College (1974) and a master of arts at the Dallas Seminary (1981).
Career and Political Life
Erwin joined the Wales Goebel Ministries in Birmingham, and in 1974, he was asked to reach out the Woodlawn High School football team to quell racial tensions among the players and student body. Erwin became the team's chaplain and his efforts were chronicled in the 2015 book Woodlawn, as well as the 2015 film of the same name.
Erwin has worked in radio and television since 1976. He broke into broadcasting while a seminary student in Dallas. Erwin worked as a sportscaster at KCBI-FM, where he launched a Christian sports radio talk show. He also worked as a television news reporter before returning to Alabama. Erwin hosted a talk show on WDJC-FM from 1996 to 1999, then moved to WYDE-AM.
Erwin was elected to the Alabama Senate in 2002 and won re-election against two Republican challengers in the 2006 primary elections. He has used his position to work for veterans benefits, oppose gambling, support restrictions on the sale of alcohol, make divorces harder to obtain, and protect churches from government intrusion. He was named "Legislator of the Year" in 2005 by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. In 2008, Erwin proposed creating an "I Believe" license plate, modeled after one issued in South Carolina.
Erwin did not run for re-election in 2010, in favor of running for Lieutenant Governor instead. Despite receiving endorsements from the Alabama GOP Senate Caucus and then-Governor Bob Riley, Erwin received only 31.6% of the votes in the Republican Primary, losing to Kay Ivey, who would go on to win the general election.
- "Hank Erwin" (May 20, 2008) Wikipedia - accessed June 3, 2008
- Treadwell, Jaine (August 25,2016), "Legend of Woodlawn: Erwin shares Woodlawn story with students", The Troy Messenger.
- Carlton, Bob (October 16, 2015), "Woodlawn, the movie opens: 7 things to know about Tony Nathan, Jon Voight and more, AL.com.
- Gerelds, Todd and Schlabach, Mark (2015), Woodlawn, Howard Books, ISBN 1501118064.
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