Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


FAQ: Is there a list of pardons granted by President Truman?

Harry S. Truman granted 1,913 individual pardons as President of the United States from 1945 to 1953. He also commuted (reduced) 118 prison sentences and remitted 13 fines.

A yearly breakdown of Truman's exercise of executive clemency is provided below. The statistics are furnished by the Justice Department. During Truman's Presidency, the federal fiscal year (FY) began on July 1 of the preceding calendar year; thus, FY 1946 actually began on July 1, 1945.

Year Petitions Pending Petitions Received Pardons Commutations Remissions Petitions Denied*
FY 1945 479 201 98 9 2 133
FY 1946 438 977 279 28 3 570
FY 1947 535 779 308 13 2 483
FY 1948 508 657 178 15 0 411
FY 1949 561 638 178 17 1 313
FY 1950 690 504 400 14 3 338
FY 1951 439 467 189 10 1 228
FY 1952 478 477 192 6 0 214
FY 1953 543 330 91 6 1 137
Total (93 months)   5,030 1,913 118 13 2,887

*or closed without presidential action

Official File (OF) 470 of the Harry S. Truman Papers contains about 4,000 pages of material relating to Presidential pardons. This material consists mostly of messages from persons seeking executive clemency for themselves or others; messages from the White House responding to these requests or forwarding them to the Department of Justice for consideration; and messages from the Justice Department concerning individual pardon cases. Also included is public mail commenting on Truman's controversial commutation of the prison sentence of Boston Mayor James Michael Curley in 1947, and his subsequent pardon of Curley in 1950. OF 470 contains copies of only a few pardons, among them the one granted to Curley.

In addition to the numbers cited above, President Truman issued four Presidential Proclamations granting blanket pardons to certain categories of offenders. On December 24, 1945, he signed Proclamation 2676, granting pardons to World War II veterans who had been convicted of violating federal laws prior to their military service. On December 23, 1947, he signed Proclamation 2762, pardoning 1,523 listed persons who had been convicted of violating the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940. On December 24, 1952, he signed Proclamation 3000, granting pardons to Korean War veterans who had been convicted of violating federal laws prior to their military service. On that same day, he also signed Proclamation 3001, granting amnesty and pardon to servicemen who had been convicted of desertion from the armed forces between the end of World War II and the beginning of the Korean War. These four proclamations, and the list of the persons pardoned under Proclamation 2762, are available on the Truman Library's Proclamations database.

The Truman Library does not have a list of all the individual pardons granted by President Truman.

The Records of the Office of the Pardon Attorney (Record Group 204) are at the National Archives and Records Administration at College Park, Maryland.