Press/Journalists

Press Release
September 16, 2009

Mark Updegrove Named New Director of LBJ Library

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Washington, DC…Acting Archivist of the United States Adrienne Thomas announced today the appointment of Presidential historian Mark K. Updegrove as the new director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library. His appointment is effective October 11, 2009.

Mr. Updegrove brings unique qualifications to the position as director of the Library. He is the author of two major works on the Presidency. Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House, published by Lyons Press in 2006, won the Book of the Year Silver Medal Award for Political Science from ForeWord Magazine. Earlier this year, Mr. Updegrove wrote Baptism By Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office in Times of Crisis published by St. Martin’s Press which outlines how eight Presidents handled unprecedented crises upon taking office.

In making the announcement, Ms. Thomas said “Mr. Updegrove brings his deep knowledge and interest in the Presidency and a fresh perspective and management style to the Library. We welcome him and look forward to working with him on new and exciting Library projects.”

As an historical and political commentator, Mr. Updegrove has appeared on CNN, CBS News, ABC News, and NPR, among others. He has lectured at the University of Pennsylvania, Monroe College, the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs, and the National Constitution Center on topics related to the Presidency.

In noting the appointment, Tom Johnson, Chairman of the Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation said, “The LBJ Foundation and the Johnson family are enthusiastic about the selection of Mark Updegrove as the new Director. Mark will take the LBJ Library to new heights of excellence adding to the splendid reputation of the Library established by former directors Betty Sue Flowers and Harry Middleton.”

Mr. Updegrove is currently the director of business development at Rawle Murdy, a communications firm. From 2005 through 2007, he directed advertising sales, marketing, and operations for Yahoo! Canada and, prior to that, served in similar positions as the publisher of Nickelodeon Magazine and MTV Magazine and publisher of Newsweek.

From 1990 to 2001, Mr. Updegrove was associated with Time magazine, as a sales representative, as manager of the Los Angeles regional sales office, and finally as the President of Time Canada, Time’s Canadian edition and operation.

Mr. Updegrove’s scholarly interest in the Presidency began while working at Time where he created “Time and the Presidency,” a multi-media program which featured photographs of Presidents Franklin Roosevelt through William Clinton from the Time & Life archive. The project included a traveling exhibition that appeared at four presidential libraries, the Newseum and the Miller Center; a book; a web site; a short film and ongoing editorial features in the magazine.

In accepting the position, Mr. Updegrove noted the relevancy today of President Johnson’s legacy and his desire to uphold the tradition in the Library for excellence in exhibits, public programs, and service to researchers.

Mr. Updegrove is a graduate of the University of Maryland where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in 1984.

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The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, located on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin, was established to preserve and make available for research the papers and memorabilia of President Lyndon Baines Johnson. In addition, the Library actively collects the papers of Johnson's contemporaries and conducts an oral history program designed to supplement the written record. The Johnson Library holds more than 45 million pages of manuscripts, an extensive audiovisual collection, and oral history interviews with more than 1,500 individuals. It is one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

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For Press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at: (202) 357-5300.

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