Reagan Pardons Steinbrenner, 9 Others

From Associated Press

President Reagan has pardoned George Steinbrenner, the owner of the New York Yankees major league baseball franchise, who was fined $15,000 for campaign law violations, a senior White House official said Thursday.

The official, discussing a series of Reagan pardons on grounds that he not be identified publicly, said that Steinbrenner’s pardon was among 10 the President approved Tuesday and Wednesday.

During an interview with the news wire services Thursday, Reagan said only that there “have been some recommendations” from the Justice Department, whose pardons office reviews pardon pleas.


Steinbrenner was the only well-known beneficiary of the Reagan pardons. The other nine men had been convicted of violations ranging from illegal possession of firearms and income tax evasion to concealing untaxed whiskey.

Steinbrenner, principal owner of the Yankees, pleaded guilty in 1974 to charges of conspiring to violate federal election laws in connection with corporate campaign contributions.

He also had been accused of attempting to “influence and intimidate” employees of his shipbuilding company into lying to a grand jury about the nature of a $100,000 contribution to Richard M. Nixon’s 1972 reelection campaign.

Steinbrenner paid a $15,000 fine, but served no jail time.

The contributions were made through the American Shipbuilding Co., a Cleveland-based firm in which Steinbrenner is chief executive officer. On Nov. 27, 1974, Steinbrenner was suspended by then-Commissioner Bowie Kuhn from active management of the team for two years. Kuhn reinstated him 15 months later.

The Reagan Administration has granted less than 350 pardons. They do not cleanse the record of the person fined, although a pardon does restore a person’s full citizenship rights.