Franklin D. Roosevelt Leads Way With 3,687 Pardons or Reprieves

The record holder for Presidential Pardons in the United States.One of the "perks" of being the President of the United States is having the ability to grant pardons or commute prison sentences.

Most US Presidents will grant a number of pardons at the end of their terms in the White House - President Trump, for instance, granted a number of pardons to the likes of Steve Bannon, Lil Wayne and Michael Flynn, just to name a few.

In total, President Trump granted a total of 237 pardons or reprieves during his time in the White House.

Historically speaking, this number is not high at all.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, who served three full terms in the White House before passing away in his fourth, issued a total of 3,687 pardons during his time in the White House. This number tops the list and will likely never be beaten, mainly due to the 22nd Amendment which limits the number of times that somebody can be elected to the White House.

A total of nine US Presidents issued more than 1,000 pardons during their time in the White House - they were:

Franklin D. Roosevelt, 3,687
Woodrow Wilson, 2,480
Harry S. Truman, 2,044
Calvin Coolidge, 1,545
Herbert Hoover, 1,385
Ulysses S. Grant, 1,332
Lyndon B. Johnson, 1,187
Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1,157
Grover Cleveland, 1,107

*note: we are excluding the hundreds of thousands of draft dodgers that President Carter pardoned


How do President Trump's compare to those of recent Presidents? Let's take a look at the number of pardons granted from President Bush Sr. to President Trump:

George H.W. Bush, 77
Bill Clinton, 459
George W. Bush, 200
Barack Obama, 127
Donald Trump, 237

Most Presidents have had at least a couple of very controversial pardons.

Bill Clinton pardoned Marc Rich, which drew condemnation from Democrats and Republicans alike.

George W. Bush pardoned two border patrol agents who shot an unarmed man.

Barack Obama pardoned Chelsea Manning and granted clemency to Oscar Lopez Rivera.

Donald Trump pardoned Scooter Libby and Michael Flynn, amongst others, and mused that he had the power to pardon himself.

Filed under: General Knowledge

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