Mark Updegrove

Presidential Historian and Author, ABC News Contributor and Consultant on the Presidency, CEO of the Medal of Honor Museum, and Former Director of the LBJ Presidential Library

Mark K. Updegrove is an author, historian, journalist and television commentator. He is inaugural CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum, to be built on Charleston Harbor in South Carolina. From 2009 to 2017, he served as the director of the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, and remains a trustee of the LBJ Foundation board.
 
As director of the LBJ Library, Updegrove hosted the 2014 Civil Rights Summit, an historic three-day conference around the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, which included President Barack Obama and former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, as well as many civil rights luminaries. The summit garnered international news coverage, including the New York Times profile on Updegrove titled, “Chronicler of Presidents Brings Four Together.”
 
Later in his tenure, Updegrove hosted the Vietnam War Summit, featuring Secretary of State John Kerry, Henry Kissinger, and Ken Burns, and partnered with The Aspen Institute on “Medicare and Medicaid Turn 50,” in Washington, DC, and with PBS on “In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of American Creativity,” which was hosted by President and Mrs. Obama.
 
Updegrove’s December 2014 Politico article, “What ‘Selma’ Gets Wrong,” ignited a controversy over the portrayal of Lyndon Johnson as an obstructionist on Voting Rights in the 2014 film Selma, touching off a debate about the importance of accuracy in films based on historic events. He addressed the issue on CBS's Face the Nation and other national media outlets.
 
Updegrove is the author of four books including his latest work, The Last Republicans: Inside the Extraordinary Relationship Between George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, to be published by HarperCollins in November 2017, featuring material from exclusive access and interviews with both Bush presidents. His other works include: Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency (Crown 2012); Baptism by Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office in Times of Crisis (Macmillan 2009); Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House (Lyons Press 2006).

As a journalist and historian, Updegrove has written for The New York Times, Politico, Time, National Geographic, The Daily Beast, and The Nation, and is a contributing editor to Parade Magazine. Additionally, he is the presidential historian for ABC and a frequent contributor to ABC News and Good Morning America on matters related to the presidency and politics. 
 
A contributor to CBS Sunday Morning, Updegrove has been featured on programming across the American media landscape and has been interviewed for numerous documentaries including, The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents and The White House: The Inside Story. CNN has called Updegrove "one of the country’s finest historians.”
 
Updegrove has conducted exclusive interviews with five U.S. presidents—George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford—and has held interviews or moderated public conversations with Hank Aaron, James Baker, Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, Ken Burns, Rosalynn Carter, Julian Castro, Hillary Clinton, Bryan Cranston, Robert Gates, Doris Kearns Goodwin, John Glenn, Eric Holder, Mikhail Gorbachev, Woody Harrelson, Henry Kissinger, Sandra Day O’Connor, Dan Rather, Nancy Reagan, Robert Redford, Condoleezza Rice, Karl Rove, Bob Woodward, and Carl Bernstein.
 
Earlier in his career, Updegrove served publisher of Newsweek and president of Time Canada, Time magazine’s Canadian separate edition and operation.
 
Updegrove is married to Amy Banner Updegrove, a marketing consultant and the former publisher of Texas Monthly and president of Los Angeles Magazine. Both have two children from previous marriages. They live in Austin, Texas, and Charleston, South Carolina.