LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Obama Pardons Famous Hotelier and Baseball Star

Willie McCovey of the San Francisco Giants pictured in April 1966 near the height of his 21 year career. He pleaded guilty to tax evasion in 1995 and was pardoned by President Obama.

In a flood of clemency orders before he leaves office, President Obama commuted the sentences of 209 people and pardoned 64 others on Tuesday. The vast majority of offenders had been convicted of drug-related crimes. Two were involved in cases about leaks of government material. And two were cultural stars of past decades who had run afoul of the IRS.

Ian Schrager, the co-founder of the famous nightclubs Studio 54 and the Palladium, who then created boutique hotels, spent a year in prison between 1980 and 1981 and paid a $20,000 fine for tax evasion. His business partner, Steve Rubell, had drawn the attention of federal authorities by bragging that Studio 54 made money second only to the Mafia. The two came out of prison and eventually re-created the hotel industry by making accommodations luxurious and hip. Rubell passed away in 1989. Schrager, whose name is often associated with New York's gliteratti has said of his jail time, "I made certain mistakes and I paid for them."

Willie L. McCovey had his troubles with the tax man too. He was once one of Major League Baseball's most feared sluggers as a teammate with Willie Mays on the San Francisco Giants in the 1960s and 1970s. Nicknamed "Stretch" for his ability to dig out errant throws to first base, McCovey had a .270 career batting average, clobbered 521 homeruns and 1,555 runs batted in. He was inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame in 1986, his first year of eligibility. The water just outside of the Giants ballpark, McCovey Cove, is named for him. Most fans probably overlooked his guilty plea in 1995 after he was accused of not reporting all of the cash income he made from signing autographs at sports memorabilia shows. McCovey was sentenced to two years probation and a $5,000 fine.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)