Japanese-American Accused of Being 'Tokyo Rose' Dead at 90

Iva Toguri D'Aquino, who was once accused of being World War II broadcaster Tokyo Rose, died Tuesday in Chicago at age 90, a relative said.

Toguri, who spent the years following her release from prison living a quiet life on Chicago's North Side, died of natural causes at about 12:30 p.m. at Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital, said William Toguri, D'Aquino's nephew.

Tokyo Rose was the name given to a female radio broadcaster responsible for anti-American transmissions intended to demoralize soldiers fighting in the Pacific theater during World War II.

D'Aquino was born in Los Angeles on the July 4, 1916, to Japanese immigrant parents.

Toguri had recently graduated from UCLA and was visiting relatives in Japan when she became trapped in the country at the beginning of World War II, according to a statement Tuesday from a Toguri family spokeswoman Barbara Trembley.

Toguri began working odd jobs to support herself while trying to find a way out of the country. That led to her work on a Japanese propaganda radio show manned by Allied prisoners called "Zero Hour," the statement said.

Using the name "Orphan Ann," Toguri performed comedy skits and introduced newscasts.

In 1945, Toguri was arrested in Yokohama and accused of treason. She served six years in prison following her conviction in San Francisco in 1949.

But doubts about her possible role as Tokyo Rose later surfaced and in 1977 she was pardoned by President Gerald Ford.

Ron Yates, dean of the College of Comunications at the University of Illinois, is credited with helping win the pardon.

As a reporter at the Chicago Tribune, Yates found D'Aquino's accusers who said they were pressured by prosecutors to lie.