Mark K. Updegrove

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Mark K. Updegrove
Mark K. Updegrove (cropped).jpg
Born (1961-08-25) August 25, 1961 (age 52)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Occupation Historian, Director
Nationality American
Subjects United States Presidency

Mark K. Updegrove[1] (b. 1961) is an American author and historian, and the director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Mark K. Updegrove was a descendant of the German Op den Graeff family. He was born and raised outside Philadelphia, where he attended George School, before graduating from the University of Maryland in 1984.[3]

Mark Updegrove (right) with Barack and Michelle Obama and John Lewis at the Civil Rights Summit, the LBJ Library hosted in April 2014, which drew President Obama and three former Presidents.


Updegrove spent much of his career in magazine publishing including serving as manager of Time Magazine in Los Angeles; president of Time Canada, Time's separate Canadian edition and operation; and U.S. publisher of Newsweek in New York. While at Time, he conceived "Time and the Presidency," a multi-media program on the modern American presidents from FDR to Clinton.

He now serves as the fourth director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas. Under his direction, the Library has undergone a $10 million renovation of its core museum exhibits about President Johnson and his administration.[4][5] During his tenure, the Library has offered public programs including Mikhail Gorbachev,[6] Jimmy Carter,[7] Sandra Day O'Connor,[8]Lesley Stahl and Morley Safer,[9] James Baker,[10] Condoleezza Rice,[11] Barbara Bush, Laura Bush,[12] Eric Holder,[13] John Glenn,[14] Frank Deford,[15] Christopher Buckley,[16] Sissy Spacek,[17]Jodi Picoult,[18] Julián Castro, Joaquin Castro,[19] Robert Redford, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein,[20] Bryan Cranston.[21]

Updegrove is the author of three books: Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House;[22] Baptism by Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office During Times of Crisis;[23] and Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency.[24] and has conducted exclusive interviews with five U.S. Presidents. He has also written for American Heritage,[25] The Nation,[26] National Geographic,[27] Parade,[28] and Time.[29] Additionally, he is an analyst for ABC News on matters relating to the presidency, and in January 2013, joined ABC News anchors Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos to offer commentary on Barack Obama's second Inauguration.[30]

On April 8-10, 2014, Updegrove hosted a Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. President Obama, accompanied by Mrs. Obama, delivered the Summit's keynote address on April 10. Former Presidents Carter, Clinton, and George W. Bush also participated in the Summit, offering speeches on April 8, April 9, and April 10, respectively.[31][32][33][34]

In 2014, Updegrove was reportedly also at work on a book about the two Bush presidents.[35]


Updegrove is married to Amy Banner Updegrove, publisher of Texas Monthly magazine. They each have two children from previous marriages.


  • Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House (Lyons Press, 2006)
  • Baptism By Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office During Times of Crisis (St. Martins Press, 2009)
  • Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency (Crown Publishers, 2012)


  1. ^ Staff, Public Affairs. "Mark Updegrove Named New Director of LBJ Library". The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Ford, Lauren Smith. "The 10 of 2010: Mark Updegrove, Director, Lyndon Baines Johnson Library & Museum". Tribeza. Tribeza. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  3. ^ Haurwitz, Ralph (October 11, 2009). "LBJ Library director". AMERICAN-STATESMAN. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Shannon, Kelley. "LBJ library in Austin to unveil $10 million update Dec. 22". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  5. ^ Baskas, Harriet. "Oval Office audio tapes highlight redesigned LBJ Presidential Library". NBC News. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  6. ^ Serrano, Jody. "Gorbachev visits UT, urges America to pull out of Middle East". The Daily Texan. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Hoppe, Christy. "Jimmy Carter speaks on Middle East at LBJ Library". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on campus". UT Center for Women and Gender Studies. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  9. ^ "LBJ Library and Briscoe Center Present "An Evening With Morley Safer and Lesley Stahl"". Briscoe Center for American History. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  10. ^ Philpott, Ben. "James Baker Talks at LBJ Library with Evan Smith". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  11. ^ McBee, Jack. "Condoleezza Rice Discusses Iraq War on the Forty Acres". The Alcalde. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  12. ^ Fikac, Peggy. "Laura and Mrs. Bush on life behind scenes". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  13. ^ "Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library & Museum". U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  14. ^ Cosel, Pamela. "John Glenn has a life full of missions". KXAN. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "An Evening With Frank Deford". University of Texas KNOW. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "Off Site: Christopher Buckley at LBJ Library". BookPeople. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "An Evening with Sissy Spacek". Austin Film Society. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  18. ^ "Book signing and lecture by novelist Jodi Picoult". Read The Horn. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  19. ^ "An Evening with Joaquin and Julian Castro". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  20. ^ Lavecchia, Olivia. "Watergate Still Unfolding at UT's Ransom Center". Texas Monthly. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  21. ^ "Walter White Meets LBJ". Texas Monthly. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  22. ^ "Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 6 June 2006. 
  23. ^ Heilbrunn, Jacob. "Crisis Management". The New York Times Company. Retrieved 16 January 2009. 
  24. ^ Ealy, Charles. "'Indomitable Will' seeks to give LBJ due credit". Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  25. ^ Updegrove, Mark. "Flying Coach To Cairo". American Heritage. Retrieved 24 August 2006. 
  26. ^ Updegrove, Mark. "Get Me Rewrite". Get Me Rewrite. Retrieved 26 September 2006. 
  27. ^ Updegrove, Mark. "George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview". National Geographic. Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  28. ^ Updegrove, Mark. "An Exclusive Conversation With President and Mrs. Bush". Parade. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  29. ^ Smith, Marjorie. "Presidential historian named director of the LBJ Library and Museum". Know. Retrieved 21 September 2009. 
  30. ^ Ford, David. "Over 4.5 Million Americans Turned to ABC News for Coverage of "Inauguration 2013″ — An Increase from Bush’s Second Inaugural in 2005". ABC News. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  31. ^ "Rescuing a Vietnam Casualty: Johnson’s Legacy". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  32. ^ "Obama to join three former presidents to mark Civil Rights Act 50th at LBJ Library". McClatchy DC News. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  33. ^ "Chronicler of Presidents Is Bringing Four Together". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  34. ^ "50 Years Later, Obama Salutes Effects of Civil Rights Act". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  35. ^ Baker, Peter, "Bush 41 Reunion Looks to Burnish His Legacy", New York Times, April 3, 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-01.

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