The Tragedy of Elvis Presley's Final Years and What Really Happened to His Fortune

Posted on Feb 09, 2017

The King of Rock and Roll went to the stage for the last time on June 26th, 1977 in Indianapolis before his tragic death in Memphis on August 16th. His extensive abuse of illegal substances led to his career spiraling down, along with his health.

1. Elvis Made His Comeback in 1968

Elvis Made His Comeback in 1968
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After his service in the Army and his acting career, Elvis made a comeback in Las Vegas. But the Las Vegas lifestyle took a toll on his marriage since it was so much different from Memphis. Priscilla and Elvis became really distant in the 70s because of their affairs with other people.

2. The Couple Had a Big Fight in 1972

The Couple Had a Big Fight in 1972
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It led to the termination of their marriage one year later, but Elvis moved on quickly. Linda Thomspon, a songwriter and a beauty queen from Memphis, was Elvis's girl of choice and she moved in with him not long after the divorce.

3. "Aloha from Hawaii"

"Aloha from Hawaii"
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"Aloha from Hawaii" was the first concert in history to be broadcasted to the entire world via satellite in 1973. The performance of reached millions of people.

4. He Wore an Eagle Cape at the Performance in Honolulu and It Became a Big Part of His Image

He Wore an Eagle Cape at the Performance in Honolulu and It Became a Big Part of His Image
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5. But the Cause of His Health Problems Was Mostly Substance Abuse

But the Cause of His Health Problems Was Mostly Substance Abuse
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It affected his performances since he wasn't able to do the shows. He had to cancel shows and wasn't at his best during some performances, and he was also overweight because of that.

6. He Was Battling Addiction to Illegal Substances and Prescription Medicine

He Was Battling Addiction to Illegal Substances and Prescription Medicine
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But because of his poor physical health, he was often unable to finish the songs he was performing and he often forgot the lyrics.

7. But In the Final Years of His Life, Elvis Had Severe Health Problems like Glaucoma, Blood Pressure Problems, as Well as Liver Damage

But In the Final Years of His Life, Elvis Had Severe Health Problems like Glaucoma, Blood Pressure Problems, as Well as Liver Damage
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In 1973, he OD'd and was in a coma for 3 days.

8. Elvis Had a Pretty Unique Group of Friends and Bodyguards Called the "Memphis Mafia"

Elvis Had a Pretty Unique Group of Friends and Bodyguards Called the "Memphis Mafia"
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And they were by his side for most of his career.

9. People Believe Including His Dad, Vernon Presley, Believed That They Were a Bad Influence on Elvis

People Believe Including His Dad, Vernon Presley, Believed That They Were a Bad Influence on Elvis
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There's a theory that they pressured him into the rock and roll lifestyle and that they hung around him just because of his fame. Some of them were even involved in illegal activities and were investigated by the FBI.

10. Vernon Presley Decided to Fire Some People from the "Memphis Mafia" in 1976 in Order to Cut Back a Bit

Vernon Presley Decided to Fire Some People from the "Memphis Mafia" in 1976 in Order to Cut Back a Bit
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11. He Recorded Six Albums Between 1973 and 1976

He Recorded Six Albums Between 1973 and 1976
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"Promised Land" and "From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee" were successful.

12. He Made a New Record Before His Death

He Made a New Record Before His Death
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His final 1977 album "Moody Blue" was released one month before he died.

13. A Tragic Day for America and the Whole World

A Tragic Day for America and the Whole World
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Tragedy struck on August 16th, 1977, when Elvis was found by his new girlfriend and fiancee, Ginger Alden. He was lying unconscious in the bathroom in Graceland. The cause of Elvis's death was partially the abuse of illegal substances that caused him to have a heart attack.

14. Millions of People Were Devastated

Millions of People Were Devastated
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Even the president at the time, Jimmy Carter, said that Elvis "Permanently changed the face of American popular culture." On the day of the funeral, thousands came to see the open casket in Graceland, and 80 thousand people went to the funeral. Elvis was 42. But have you ever wondered what happened with his fortune?

15. When It Came to the Finances, His Manager, Colonel Tom Parker Had a Big Impact

When It Came to the Finances, His Manager, Colonel Tom Parker Had a Big Impact
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The contract Elvis signed with him included a half and half split of earnings with Parker. In the end, Elvis got only 15% of the merchandise revenue. Colonel Tom Parker got a lot out of the contract. Parker's share even increased, and it was 56%. His determined and slightly aggressive personality made Elvis agree with that contract.

16. It Is Shocking How Much Money Tom Parker Drained from Elvis' Career

It Is Shocking How Much Money Tom Parker Drained from Elvis' Career
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Parker had an income of about $1.2 million per year, which is way more than managers get these days. That was almost half of The King's total earnings per one year. Elvis was indeed the only star who made over a billion dollars by selling merch, performing, selling records. But his net worth was put at the $10 million mark after his death in 1977. Where did all the money go?

17. Elvis Left Most of His Earnings to His Daughter, Lisa Marie Presley

Elvis Left Most of His Earnings to His Daughter, Lisa Marie Presley
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In his will, he stated that a trust was made with the one beneficiaries being his daughter and that the trustee was his father, Vernon Presley. After his father's death, Elvis' ex-wife and mother of Elvis' daughter, Lisa Marie, became the trustee. He also left a big part to the Elvis Presley Enterprises. Lisa Marie owns %15 of that company.
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The Tragedy of Elvis Presley's Final Years and What Really Happened to His Fortune
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