Alcatraz Ex-Con Shares Memories of “The Rock”

Alcatraz Ex-Con Shares Memories of “The Rock”

Each year, the Alcatraz Alumni Association ( hosts a reunion of sorts so that those with a history of the prison years can get together and share their stories. Made up of former prisoners, guards, residents of the island, and now their families, guests of Alumni weekend fill their time with public discussions and public interaction as well as book signings and one-on-one encounters with the visitors lucky enough to be touring Alcatraz over this momentous weekend.

In celebration of the notorious alumni, we share former prisoner Bob Luke’s interview with NPR correspondent Tom Wilmer who also caption’s his own award-winning site.

To listen to the podcast, click here: (

Robert Luke, assigned prisoner number 1118AZ, arrived at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary on April 14,1954 and was paroled on April 29,1959. It was the smell of fresh mown grass wafting across the island from somewhere in San Francisco that stimulated the transformative moment in Luke’s life and spurred him to go the straight and narrow path.

He is now 89 years old and he has been out of prison for 57 years, but it was only five years ago when he first confided to anyone other than his immediate family that he is an ex-con. Robert Luke authored a revealing book about his life on the Rock, Entombed in Alcatraz. He now returns to Alcatraz Island on a regular basis where he has achieved “Rock” star status, regaling visitors from around the world about his recollections of his life at Alcatraz, and of course, autographing his top-selling book.