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Footprints in the Sand
operated by the estate of
Mary Stevenson
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Mary's 1936 text of Footprints in the Sand in English and other languages
A short biography for Mary Stevenson
The forensics report that authenticates the age of Mary's 1939 handwritten copy of Footprints
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About Gail Giorgio the author of the book about Mary's life and her inspiration to write Footprints in the Sand
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Mary's Story

Mary as a small child c.mid 1920‘s
Mary was born November 8, 1922 in the Philadelphia suburb of Chester, PA. She had many brothers and sisters, but was still able to maintain her individuality and strong headedness. This became even more difficult after the loss of her mother at age six, which forced her father to raise all eight children by himself. Most of her childhood was spent during one of this Nation's toughest and most trying times,

The Great Depression. It was in her early teens when she first wrote "Footprints in the Sand" having been inspired by the many things that had affected her young life. She was so moved by the power of the words she wrote that she felt the need to share its meaning with those who could gain strength from it in their time of need.

Mary in one of her stage costumes used while working at ‘The Troc’ in Philedelphia, PA c.1940‘s
At age sixteen she got into an abusive marriage that resulted in her flight and finding refuge on an Indian reservation outside of Claremore, Oklahoma with her infant son. She was able to return home after getting word that her husband had gone off to fight in WWII. During his absence she was forced to support herself by working at Philadelphia's Troc as a stage performer and dancer. Because of this her husband was able to take their son away from her upon his return from the war using his influence with local officials. She spent many years trying to get her son back.

Mary eventually moved to Los Angeles in the late 40's where she met her future husband Basil Zangare whom she referred to as 'the love of her life'. It was at this time that she first saw 'Footprints in the Sand' in print with 'Author Anonymous' as the only credit. Several attorneys discouraged her from pursuing her claim to it for lack of proof. But her greatest battle was with polio and the accident that almost took Basil from her.

In 1959, the year after her second son Basil jr. was born the family moved to Orange County, just southeast of Los Angeles. Over the years Mary
kept herself busy as a nurse and working in the community volunteering for many activities. She was recognized many times for her work including "Vietmoms" which she organized to send personal supplies and home baked items to servicemen stationed in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.

In January 1980 she lost her husband Basil in his battle with heart disease. Mary continued on with her work but decided it was time for a change of scenery. She moved out of the home she shared with her family for over twenty-five years. During the move she came across a small forgotten valise filled with many of the poems she had written over the years. Among all this was a lost copy of 'Footprints in the Sand' that she hadn't seen since moving into the house in 1959.

Mary c.1987
She decided to pursue her claim to authorship and later in the year was awarded a copyright for her poem. Eleven years later her 1939 copy of "Footprints in the Sand" was authenticated as genuine by a forensic specialist and said to be approximately fifty-plus years old. This would pre-date any claims made by others of authorship including Margaret Fishback-Powers who has said to have written it 1964.

Mary worked for many years to gain recognition for creating 'Footprints in the Sand', which has continued even after her passing in January of 1999.

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