About The Director
Since October 2009, Mark K. Updegrove has served as the fourth director of the LBJ Presidential Library.
During his tenure, the Library has undergone an $11 million renovation of its core museum exhibits about President Johnson and his administration. On April 8–10, 2014, Updegrove hosted a Civil Rights Summit at the Library, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. President Barack Obama, accompanied by First Lady Michelle Obama, delivered the Summit's keynote address April 10. Former Presidents Carter, Clinton, and George W. Bush also participated in the Summit, offering speeches on April 8, 9, and 10, respectively.
Updegrove's December 23, 2014, Politico article, "What 'Selma' Gets Wrong," ignited the controversy over the portrayal of Lyndon Johnson as an obstructionist on Voting Rights in the film "Selma," and touched off a debate about the importance of accuracy in films based on historical events.
Updegrove is also an author and historian. He has authored four books: Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House; Baptism by Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office During Times of Crisis; Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency; and Destiny of Democracy: The Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library.
His fourth book, Destiny of Democracy: The Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library, was released March 15, 2015. The book reflects on the civil rights movement and President Johnson’s legacy while capturing the Library's historic three-day Civil Rights Summit. It includes full text from all four presidential keynotes, a foreword by John Lewis, essays by Updegrove, and beautiful images from the summit. He is also reportedly working on a book on the relationship between the two Bush presidents.
He is an analyst for ABC News on matters relating to the presidency, including the 2013 presidential inauguration, and a contributor to CBS Sunday Morning.
Before coming to the Library, 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 multimedia program on modern American presidents from FDR to Clinton.
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