July 8, 2021

Not to be confused with…

There is more than one Mark Henry out there – here’s a profile of some of the others.

Despite what you might think, there’s an awful lot of us. Mark Henry is not an uncommon name if you take a global perspective. And several of them are quite well known indeed.

The most famous by far is the world’s strongest man. Yes, you read that right. This Mark Henry represented the USA in two Olympic Games in the 1990s and to this day holds the world weight lifting records for the squat, deadlift and total (whatever they are). 

However, he found his fame and fortune in World Wrestling (WWE). Initially going by the moniker ‘Sexual Chocolate’, he had a hugely successful 25-year long career that saw him rise to become world champion and inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. 

Sadly, I can confirm he’s no relation of mine (see profile pic).

Mark Henry - Wrestler
Mark Henry (wrestler)

I’m also not the first author to have this name. Another American Mark Henry has an established niche in erotic zombie fiction. I’ve been very tempted to buy one of his novels just to see… check them out on Amazon, if you’re so inclined. 

Mark Henry - Zombie Fiction Author
Mark Henry (zombie fiction author)

There’s a restaurant in San Augustine in Texas called after us too. I don’t think it’s called after any one of us in particular. In fact, the owner appears to be one Mark Henry Liepman, which is definitely cheating. 

Mark Henry’s - Restaurant
Mark Henry’s restaurant

So too is Mark Henry Jewelry. Before my wife gets any ideas, the name of the company was inspired by two of the founder's sons: Mark and Henry. Uncool. 

But we’re not all Americans by any means. Henry is a reasonably common surname in both Counties Mayo and Derry (I’m descended from the latter clan) so there are quite a few of us right here at home. 

I have yet to cross paths with Windmill Lane’s award-winning sound mixer Mark Henry. He’s looked after the sound for such TV shows as Love/Hate and The Young Offenders, and he even landed a spell on Star Trek: Picard. It’s the closest I’ve come yet to claiming a Hollywood movie credit. 

We have also been elected to Dáil Éireann. Way back in June 1927 Mark Henry was elected to the Dáil as a Cumann na nGaedheal TD for Mayo North and served there until 1932. He was already advanced in years at that time and became the ‘father of the house’. He lived all the way up until 1952, though, passing away at the ripe old age of 98. 

Mark C. Henry - TD
Mark C Henry TD (image source)

I have a childhood memory of the very first time I came across someone else sharing the same name. It wasn’t actually a human. I clearly recall being in a friend’s house, aged no more than 10 years, when the TV sports announcer reported that ‘Mark Henry’ had won a horserace! 

For years I wondered whether I had imaged it since I never heard of him again. However in writing this article, with the power of the internet at my fingertips, it only took me 10 minutes to establish that Mark Henry was indeed an English winning steed from the mid to late 1970s. 

It’s reassuring to confirm that I hadn’t made that up, and comforting that Mark Henry can lay claim to be the strongest, the tastiest, the sparkliest, the oldest, and the fastest in various domains. Now, that’s certainly worthy of a Hollywood movie!

In Fact: An Optimist’s Guide to Ireland at 100 - Book Side

Available to buy at all good book stores