Street Smarts

February 1, 2006 by  
Filed under Edit

Jay Leno’s Harley finds a home in Houston

Never before has a motorcycle stirred up as much dust as the celebrity-signed “Tonight Show” 2006 Harley Davidson Road King. The hog was signed by 67 mega celebrities who were guests of the show throughout 2005. It was then auctioned off on eBay to raise money for the Red Cross International Disaster Fund to aid the victims of last year’s tsunami in Southeast Asia.

Several Texans signed the bike, including President George W. Bush, Matthew McConaughey, Hilary Duff, Ashlee Simpson and Roger “The Rocket” Clemens. Other celebrities on the impressive list include Donald Trump, Nicole Kidman, Denzel Washington, Jennifer Garner, Bill Clinton, Tyra Banks, Jamie Foxx, Ellen DeGeneres, Mel Gibson and, of course, Jay Leno. After 219 bids, David Steiner, CEO of Houston-based Waste Management Inc. came up on top with a winning bid of $800,100.

But this wasn’t the end of the road for the white Harley. This winter, the hog was auctioned off, yet again, by Waste Management Inc. to raise funds for the Bush Clinton Katrina Fund. Steiner, a native of New Orleans, felt it was a good way to “pay it forward” for the holiday season. Houston lawyer and philanthropist John O’Quinn won the motorcycle with a high bid of $1 million.

No surprise. O’Quinn, one of the most well known and successful lawyers in Texas, is an avid car and motorcycle collector with more than 600 rare and luxury vehicles. He is also a prominent Houston philanthropist, most widely known for his generous support of the University of Houston and St. Luke’s Houston Medical Center, among many others. After it was all said and done, the “Tonight Show” Harley Davidson raised nearly $2 million for the relief of last year’s horrendous natural disasters. We’re thankful that Houstonians like David Steiner and John O’Quinn were able to bring this symbol of generosity to the city.

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