Categories: Know

Trump pardons Tampa real estate mogul Edward DeBartolo

Edward DeBartolo Jr., owner of Tampa’s DeBartolo Holdings and former owner of the San Francisco 49ers, received a presidential pardon Tuesday.

DeBartolo agreed to pay up to $1 million in fines and gave up ownership of the NFL team, after pleading guilty in 1998 to failing to report a felony when he paid $400,000 to former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards in exchange for a riverboat gambling license, according to ESPN.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday, pardoning DeBartolo.

“Mr. DeBartolo did not allow his conviction to define his life,” a statement from the White House said. “He remained a generous philanthropist and passionate supporter of numerous charitable causes, including charter schools like the Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School, and anti-gang violence initiatives. His exceptional compassion and warmth define his character to this day.”

DeBartolo has for many years led the list of Tampa-St. Petersburg residents on the Forbes 400, a list of wealthiest Americans. Forbes estimates his net worth at $2.6 billion as of Feb. 18.

As of mid-day Tuesday, the president had not posted a Tweet about the pardon, but there was plenty of comment on Twitter about the action, both pro and con.

Margie Manning

Margie started her journalism career as a radio news reporter in St. Louis, before putting down her microphone and picking up a pen to work at the St. Louis Business Journal. Unable to resist the call of warm weather and beaches, Margie took an entrepreneurial detour to run an ice cream shop in Treasure Island with her husband. Before joining the Catalyst, Margie spent 14 years at the Tampa Bay Business Journal where she wrote about business successes, failures and the exciting world of innovation and start-ups. Her writing coaches are Bonnie the Dog and Coffee the Cat, joined recently by a new edition, Jack the Cat. Margie can be contacted at

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