In chapter 9 of Miracles and Massacres, Glenn Beck’s latest book, we learn the story of Iva Toguri, aka Tokyo Rose, an American citizen whose life was ruined during World War II after she was prosecuted as a traitor in a political decision made by the U.S. government. One aspect of the story that was left out of the book was how Toguri’s pardoning in 1977 – the last act of President Gerald Ford’s administration, almost three decades after initially being charged as a traitor – came to pass.
In a Blaze Books exclusive, we spoke with Ronald Yates, a former Chicago Tribune journalist, who was responsible for publishing the exposés in 1976 that ultimately helped Iva Toguri gain her pardon, and one of only a handful of people who became a close personal acquaintance with Toguri in her later years. This is our third story in a series based on our interview with him. If you missed it, be sure to check out parts I and II.
While Ronald Yates had helped finally vindicate Iva Toguri, he had still never met the woman, until he received a call from her lawyer in 1991. Yates had spent the majority of his adult life traveling through Asia and Latin America as a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, and thus had not returned home till 1991.
Iva’s attorney called Yates and said “Iva would like to meet you to personally thank you for what you did and the stories that you wrote. She wants to meet you for dinner. Would you be willing to do that?”
Yates naturally accepted, and during that winter made an appointment to meet with Toguri on the North Side, the same area where some twenty-plus years before the whole story had begun.
As Yates describes the encounter:
“I drove up to the North Side of Chicago after working at the Tribune Tower and I parked my car and I didn’t know what to expect. But as I got to the restaurant door, I saw Iva standing at the door. And I thought, well that’s interesting. So I walked in to the door and she just ran over and she grabbed me and says ‘Oh I just wanted to meet you and thank you and oh my goodness, let’s go sit down at the table and have dinner.’”