Mark K. Updegrove

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Mark K. Updegrove
Mark K. Updegrove 2016.jpg
Born (1961-08-25) August 25, 1961 (age 55)
Abington, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Occupation Author, Historian, Journalist, Television Commentator, Presidential Library Director
Nationality American
Education Economics
Alma mater University of Maryland, College Park
Subject United States Presidency
Notable works Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency
Spouse Amy Banner Updegrove

Mark K. Updegrove[1] (born August 25, 1961) is an American author, historian, journalist, television commentator, and director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum in Austin, Texas.

Early life and education[edit]

Updegrove was born outside Philadelphia in Abington, PA, on Aug. 25, 1961. He attended high school in Newtown, PA, at the George School, which honored him with its Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2015.[2] He attended Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, and graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a Bachelor of Arts in economics in 1984.


Magazine Publishing[edit]

Updegrove spent much of his early 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, publisher of Newsweek.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum[edit]

Since October 2009, Updegrove has served as the fourth director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Mark Updegrove at The Vietnam War Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2016. Photo by Jay Godwin.

Under Updegrove's direction, the library partnered with the Aspen Institute on Medicare and Medicaid Turn 50, in Washington, D.C, in April 2015, and in November 2015, partnered with WETA-TV, on In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of American Creativity, which aired on PBS, to mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Early in his tenure at the library, Updegrove oversaw the $11 million renovation of the library’s core exhibits on Lyndon Johnson and his administration, which opened in December 2012.[3][4]

Updegrove's December 2014 Politico article, What 'Selma' Gets Wrong,[5] ignited a controversy over the portrayal of Lyndon Johnson as an obstructionist on voting rights in the film Selma, touching off a debate about the importance of accuracy in films based on historic events. In January 2015, Updegrove addressed the issue on CBS' Face the Nation.[6]

Adjunct Professor/Lecturer[edit]

In 2013 and 2015, Updegrove taught The Johnson Years for Liberal Arts Honors students as an adjunct professor at The University of Texas at Austin. He has spoken extensively at numerous colleges and universities, museums, presidential libraries, and other public speaking forums.

Selected publications[edit]


  • Destiny of Democracy: The Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library (University of Texas Press, 2015)
  • Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency (Crown Publishers, 2012)[7]
  • Baptism By Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office During Times of Crisis (St. Martins Press, 2009)[8]
  • Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House (Lyons Press, 2006)[9]


  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. ^ "Alumni Award Recipient 2015 - George School". Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  3. ^ Shannon, Kelley. "LBJ library in Austin to unveil $10 million update Dec. 22". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Baskas, Harriet. "Oval Office audio tapes highlight redesigned LBJ Presidential Library". NBC News. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "What 'Selma' Gets Wrong". Politico. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "Does the film "Selma" portray LBJ unfairly?". Face the Nation. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  7. ^ Ealy, Charles. "'Indomitable Will' seeks to give LBJ due credit". Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  8. ^ Heilbrunn, Jacob. "Crisis Management". The New York Times Company. Retrieved 16 January 2009. 
  9. ^ "Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 6 June 2006.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)

External links[edit]