Henry Eugene “Hank” Erwin Jr. was the son of Henry Eugene “Red” Erwin Sr., a U.S. Army Air Forces sergeant who earned the Medal of Honor in World War II. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and graduated from Ensley High School in 1967, before going on to earn degrees at Troy State University (1972), Southeastern Bible College (1974), and the Dallas Seminary (1981).
Erwin broke into broadcasting in the 1970s and served radio and TV stations in Dallas, Texas, and Birmingham, Alabama, for almost 35 years. He was elected to the Alabama Senate in 2002 and re-elected in 2006.
Erwin and his wife, Shelia, have two sons, filmmakers Andrew and Jon Erwin.