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South Shore resident Michael O. Ewing publishes first book

At the age of 72, longtime South Shore resident Michael O. Ewing has published his first book, “One That Got Away: Unchained by Destiny.” The autobiography tells the story of Ewing’s upbringing on the near West Side of Chicago from early childhood to adulthood, including his family’s travels during the Great Migration and hardships faced during the Jim Crow era. Eventually, he succeeded in becoming the “one that got away,” going from the projects to becoming a first-generation university graduate and avoiding the incarceration and drug use of others around him.


Ewing graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a bachelor’s degree in Education. He has been married to his wife Valerie J. Ewing for 50 years; they are both retired with five children and 11 grandchildren. They have lived in the South Shore neighborhood for more than 45 years.

Ewing and his wife have always written a birthday letter—and he realized there were important family histories shared in those letters that were little known to relatives, including stories of hardship.

Ewing shares, “With over one million books published every year, why would a 72-year-old throw his hat into the ring? The answer is COVID-19. It caught us off guard and attacked with a vengeance. The only choices were to fight or give in, and I decided to fight!

I hope this book will be an inspiration to everyone who feels stuck in a situation. This book will certainly invoke determination, perseverance and hard work.”

One That Got Away” speaks to Ewing’s realization that he had options throughout his life.

Opportunities to take actions that would either propel him toward a destiny of repeating mistakes or of creating a new direction. In some cases, the steps he took were not the result of thought or preconception; instead, they were involuntary. Results from those actions prevented him from going down the road traveled by family members that led to crime, drug use, and incarceration, to create a new path of hope for his descendants. The book covers his life from early childhood through early adulthood and shares his victories.

It demonstrates his realization that, indeed, he is one who got away!

Michael O. Ewing was born in a family who on both sides migrated North during the Great Migration. Each side of the family experiences the trauma and hardship of navigating Jim Crow. Those traumas played out in the areas of health, physical, mental, and social, leading to IV drug use, incarceration, and death.

Search for “One That Got Away: Unchained by Destiny” online. It is $9.99 (paperback) and $15.99 (hardcover). One That Got Away: Unchained by Destiny by Michael O. Ewing – Your Online Publicist

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