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Mark Updegrove

Presidential Historian for ABC News, Author and Former CEO of the Medal of Honor Museum
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Mark K. Updegrove is an author, historian, and the president and CEO of the LBJ Foundation. He previously served as the inaugural CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum, to be built along the Charleston harbor in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, and as the director of the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas from 2009 through February 2017.

Updegrove’s accomplishments as the LBJ Library director include supervising a $11 million redesign of the library’s core exhibits, which resulted in significant increases in the library’s visitorship. Additionally, he raised the profile of the library by bringing in speakers such as Mikhail Gorbachev, Sandra Day O’Connor, Eric Holder, Julián Castro, John Glenn, John Lewis, Hank Aaron, Bob Schieffer, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Cokie Roberts, Robert Gates, Karl Rove, David Axelrod, Bryan Cranston, Woody Harrelson, Rob Reiner, Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek, and Richard Linklater.

In 2016, Updegrove hosted the Vietnam War Summit, a substantive, unvarnished look at the most controversial facet of President Johnson’s legacy. Summit speakers included John Kerry, Henry Kissinger, and Ken Burns. Perhaps most notably, in 2014, Updegrove planned the Civil Rights Summit, which included Barack and Michelle Obama, George W. and Laura Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and a host of civil rights luminaries.

His latest book, The Last Republicans: Inside the Extraordinary Relationship Between George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, was published by HarperCollins in November 2017. His other works include: Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House (2006); Baptism by Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office During Times of Crisis (2009); Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency (2012); and, Destiny of Democracy: the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library (2015).

He has written for The New York Times, American Heritage, The Nation, National Geographic, Parade, Politico, Texas Monthly, The Daily Beast, and TIME. And, he currently is an analyst for ABC News on matters relating to the presidency.

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