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Home > About Us > Director

Mark K. Updegrove

Title: Director, Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum

Telephone: 512-721-0158

Email Address:

Address: 2313 Red River Street, Austin, Texas 78705

Biographical Note:

Presidential historian Mark Updegrove, who became Director of the LBJ Library & Museum on October 11, 2009, serves as the Library's fourth Director in its thirty-eight year history.

Updegrove is an award-winning author with over two decades of leadership experience within top media and communications organizations including Time, Newsweek, and Yahoo.

Often called on by the news media to offer commentary on the presidency, CNN has called Updegrove one of the "country's best presidential historians." Most recently, Updegrove was interviewed for a news story about President Barack Obama's sliding poll numbers on ABC's Good Morning America on September 2, 2009.

Updegrove is the author of two books relating to American presidents:

  • Published in January 2009, Baptism By Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office in Times of Crisis examines eight presidents who took office in times of unprecedented crisis, how they dealt the burdens they inherited, the role of character in their leadership, and the lessons those men provide for President Barack Obama.

"Memo to President Obama: Read this book."
The Associated Press, January 2009

"Updegrove's gallery of greats should instill hope and confidence in our future."
The New York Times Book Review, January 20, 2009

  • Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House, published in 2006, looks at the post-presidential lives of our modern presidents--Harry Truman through Bill Clinton--and includes exclusive interviews with former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, and Gerald Ford. The book was awarded ForeWord Magazine's "Book of the Year" Silver Medal Award for Political Science.

"A lively and highly readable review of [the] post-Oval Office years of the United States' last nine former chief executive & entertaining and illuminating."
The Washington Post, October 15, 2006

"Highly recommended."
The Library Journal, July 6, 2006

Updegrove has also written feature articles for American Heritage, The Nation, Time, and Worth, and has contributed op-ed pieces for numerous national and regional newspapers and websites.

Additionally, he conceived and co-developed "Time and the Presidency," a multi-media program featuring Time photographs of President Franklin Roosevelt through Clinton, along with reflections from Time's Hugh Sidey. The LBJ Library & Museum displayed the program's traveling exhibit in 2000.

Updegrove has been Director of Business Development at Rawle Murdy, a private communications firm. He has also served as Vice President and Head of Sales and Operations at Yahoo! Canada; Vice President and Publisher of Nickelodeon Magazine and MTV Magazine; U. S. Publisher of Newsweek; and spent eleven years in several leadership roles at Time, Inc. including Los Angeles Manager of Time and President of Time Canada, Time's Canadian edition and operation.

Updegrove graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 1984. He and his wife, Evie, have two children, Charlie, 9, and Tallie, 3. The Updegrove family will be moving to Austin from Charleston, South Carolina.