April 2014 Wilmer Memorial Lecture

Mark Updegrove

Mark Updegrove

"Six Presidents & Lessons Learned"

     W. Mark Updegrove is an author, publisher, lecturer and journalist and also the director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library. Prior to assuming that position in Austin in 2009, he spent most of his career in journalism. He served as U.S. publisher of Newsweek, president of Time Canada, and manager of Time Los Angeles. In addition to his responsibilities at the LBJ Library, Updegrove is an analyst for ABC News and a contributing editor for PARADE Magazine.

    Mr. Updegrove has authored three books relating to the American Presidency: Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency, Baptism by Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office in Times of Crisis, and Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House. He has written for American Heritage, the Nation, National Geographic, Parade, Texas Monthly, and TIME and has conducted exclusive interviews with five U.S. Presidents.

    Mr. Updegrove is the fourth director of theLBJ Libraray. Under his direction, the Library has undergone a $10 million renovation of its core museum exhibits about President Johnson and his administration. Also during his tenure, the Library has offered public programs with Mikhail Gorbachev, Jimmy Carter, Sandra Day O'Connor, James Baker, Barbara and Laura Bush, John Glenn, Condoleezza Rice, Robert Redford, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, among others.

    He is a native of Philadelphia and a graduate of the University of Maryland.

Wilmer Lecture History

    This was the 17th Annual Wilmer Memorial Lecture, which honors the two Harry Wilmers, who, along with wife and mother, Jane, were instrumental in founding the Institute for the Humanities. This lectureship has been an annual event since 1998, following the death of Hank Wilmer (Harry Wilmer III).

    After Harry's death in 2005, it was combined with the Harry Wilmer Lecture to become the Wilmer Memorial Lecture. The original purpose of the Wilmer Lecture was to remember Harry and Hank Wilmer and also honor the memory of others who have died, while also celebrating life and the spirit of humanity in the Salado community.

    This free lecture given by renowned speakers is a gift to the community by the Wilmer family and others who have given to help perpetuate their memory and the organization they loved. The Wilmer Fund supports the annual Wilmer Lecture, the Institute’s mission and the Wilmers’ legacy.