The Legendary Legacy: Exploring the Family of Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley is widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. But what many people don’t know is that Elvis was part of a larger family — his parents, siblings, and extended relatives all played an integral role in shaping his life and career.

In this article, we’ll explore the history of Elvis Presley’s family, from his early childhood to his death in 1977.

Who  Elvis Presley

Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi to Gladys and Vernon Presley. He had one older brother, Jessie Garon, who died shortly after birth. Elvis began singing at an early age and soon gained fame as a rock-and-roll singer. His career skyrocketed in the 1950s with hits like “Heartbreak Hotel,” ” Jailhouse Rock,” and “Hound Dog.”

Elvis Presley rose to fame quickly in the music industry during the 1950s, becoming one of the first true superstars in rock-and-roll. His charismatic stage presence and unique musical style set him apart from his contemporaries, making him a household name around the world. Elvis’s influence on popular culture and music continues to this day, as many modern artists cite him as a major influence.

Parents and Siblings

Vernon Elvis Presley (father)

Vernon Elvis Presley was born on April 10, 1916 in Fulton, Mississippi. He was the only son of Jessie D. Presley and Minnie Mae Hood and had five sisters. He worked as a truck driver and served in the US Army during World War II. In his later years, he became a successful business owner and property investor. Vernon married Gladys Love Smith in 1933 and had two sons with her, Elvis and Jessie Garon.

Early life and occupation

Elvis’s early life was rooted in poverty. His family moved often, eventually settling in Memphis, Tennessee where his father Vernon worked a number of odd jobs to make ends meet. Elvis himself briefly attended Humes High School but dropped out at the age of 16 to pursue a career in music. After performing on local radio stations and for small gigs, Elvis caught the attention of Sun Records producer Sam Phillips and made his first recordings in 1954.

Relationship with Elvis

Elvis was very close to his parents, particularly his mother Gladys. He was often known to call her “Mama” and she served as the emotional center of the family. Although he had a strong bond with both of his parents, Elvis’s relationship with his father Vernon was sometimes strained due to Vernon’s strict disciplinarian style. Elvis also had a close relationship with his older brother Jessie, although Jessie died shortly after birth and Elvis only learned of him later in life.

Gladys Love Presley (mother)

Gladys Love Smith was born on April 25, 1912 in Pontotoc County, Mississippi. She was the daughter of Robert and Doll Smith and had two brothers. In 1933 she married Vernon Elvis Presley and had two sons with him, Elvis and Jessie Garon. Gladys worked as a seamstress and took care of her family, often relying on public assistance to make ends meet.

Early life and personal background

Elvis Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi to Gladys and Vernon Presley. He had one older brother, Jessie Garon, who died shortly after birth. His parents were poor but hardworking; his father Vernon worked a number of odd jobs to make ends meet while his mother Gladys took care of her family and worked as a seamstress. Elvis attended school in Tupelo and Memphis, but dropped out at the age of 16 to pursue his musical career.

Influence on Elvis’s passion for music

Elvis Presley’s passion for music was shaped by his early life experiences. Growing up in poverty, Elvis found solace in music and often sang with his family at church and at local radio stations. He developed a love for country, blues, gospel, and rock-and-roll music which he would later fuse together to create his own unique style. His parents were supportive of his passion for music and often encouraged him to pursue his dreams.

Jesse Garon Presley (twin brother)

Jesse Garon Presley was the twin brother of Elvis Presley, born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. Although the twin brothers were born together, only Elvis survived due to complications during delivery. Jesse passed away shortly after birth and Elvis did not learn of his existence until later in life. Despite never meeting him, Elvis was said to have held a deep love for his twin brother and mourned him for the rest of his life.

Tragic death at birth

Jesse Garon Presley’s tragic death at birth left a deep impact on his family. The twin brothers were born together but Jesse passed away shortly after due to complications during delivery. His parents, Gladys and Vernon, were devastated by the loss of their son and Elvis did not learn of his twin brother until later in life. Despite never meeting him, Elvis held a deep love for his twin and mourned him for the rest of his life.

Impact on Elvis’s life

The tragic death of Jesse Garon Presley had a profound impact on his brother Elvis. Despite never meeting him, Elvis held a deep love for his twin and mourned him for the rest of his life. He often spoke about Jesse and dedicated several songs to him, including “My Baby Left Me” and “In the Ghetto”. His family also held onto Jesse’s memory, with Elvis’s father Vernon even naming his guitar after him.

Marriages and Children

Priscilla Presley (first wife)

Priscilla Presley was Elvis’s first and only wife. The couple met in 1959 while Elvis was stationed in Germany with the United States Army and Priscilla was a 14-year-old schoolgirl. They married on May 1, 1967 at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Together they had one daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, born on February 1, 1968.

Meeting and courtship

Elvis and Priscilla Presley first met in 1959 while Elvis was stationed in Germany with the United States Army and Priscilla was a 14-year-old schoolgirl. At the time, Elvis was 22 years old and Priscilla was 7 years his junior. Despite their age difference, the two instantly connected and soon began a courtship. Priscilla was allowed to visit Elvis in the United States in 1962 and they became engaged in December of 1966 before getting married the following year on May 1, 1967 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Birth of their daughter, Lisa Marie Presley

The birth of Lisa Marie Presley marked the beginning of a beautiful family for Elvis and Priscilla Presley. Lisa Marie was born on February 1, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee and was the only child of the couple. She grew up surrounded by love and music, with her father often singing to her and writing her songs as gifts. Despite Elvis’s untimely death in 1977, Lisa Marie has remained close to the memory of her father and regularly visits his grave with her family.

Divorce and subsequent relationship

Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s marriage ended in divorce on October 9, 1973 after nearly six years together. Despite their separation, the couple remained close and were often seen together with their daughter Lisa Marie. After Elvis’s death in 1977, Priscilla began a relationship with Marco Garibaldi which lasted for 22 years.

Lisa Marie Presley (daughter)

Lisa Marie Presley is the only daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, born on February 1, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. She grew up surrounded by love and music, with her father often singing to her and writing her songs as gifts. Despite Elvis’s untimely death in 1977, Lisa Marie has remained close to the memory of her father and regularly visits his grave with her family.

Early life and upbringing

Lisa Marie grew up in the spotlight and was often seen accompanying her parents to various events. However, she managed to stay out of the public eye for most of her childhood and instead focused on her studies. She attended several private schools, including Immaculate Conception Catholic School and Santa Monica High School before eventually graduating from Cookeville High School in 1985.

Musical career and personal life

Lisa Marie Presley had a successful musical career of her own. She released her debut album, To Whom It May Concern, in April 2003. The album was critically acclaimed and went on to be certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). She has since released two more albums, Now What (2005) and Storm & Grace (2012).

Impact on Elvis’s legacy as the heir to his estate

Lisa Marie Presley has had a significant impact on her father’s legacy as the heir to his estate. As the only child of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie inherited her father’s estate upon his death in 1977. She was just nine years old at the time, but managed to successfully manage the estate and expand it to include the Graceland Mansion, Elvis Presley Enterprises, and various other business ventures. Lisa Marie has also worked hard to protect her father’s legacy by creating The Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation and regularly advocating for her father’s music and image rights.

Extended Family

Grandparents

Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, also had four grandparents who were very influential figures in her life. Her paternal grandparents were Vernon and Gladys Presley and her maternal grandparents were Anna Lillian Iversen and Paul Beaulieu. Elvis was very close to his parents, especially his mother, Gladys. He often credited his success to their unwavering support and unconditional love.

Jessie D. McDowell (maternal grandfather)

Jessie D. McDowell was the maternal grandfather of Lisa Marie Presley and the father of Priscilla Beaulieu (Presley). He was born in 1916 and served in the United States Air Force during World War II. After his military service, he worked as a sales representative for Pan American Airlines until his retirement in 1980. Along with his wife Anna Lillian Iversen, Jessie was a major influence in the upbringing of Priscilla and Lisa Marie.

Minnie Mae Hood-Presley (maternal grandmother)

Minnie Mae Hood-Presley was the maternal grandmother of Lisa Marie Presley and the mother of Vernon Presley. She was born in 1923 in a small rural town in Mississippi and later moved to Memphis, Tennessee, to be closer to her family. She married Elvis’s father, Vernon Presley, when he was just sixteen years old. Although their marriage didn’t last, Minnie Mae was a major influence in Elvis’s life and remained close to him until his death.

Doll Mansell Presley (paternal grandmother

Doll Mansell Presley was the paternal grandmother of Lisa Marie Presley and the mother of Vernon Presley. She was born in 1902 in Mississippi and later moved with her family to East Tupelo, Tennessee. Doll was a strong and independent woman who raised her son, Vernon, as a single parent after her husband’s death in 1930. She often worked long hours at a cotton mill to provide for her family. Doll was a major influence in Elvis’s life and remained close to him until her death in 1980.

Jessie Presley (paternal grandfather)

Jessie Presley was the paternal grandfather of Lisa Marie Presley and the father of Vernon Presley. He was born in Mississippi in 1895 and later moved to Memphis, Tennessee, to pursue work in the cotton industry. Jessie married Doll Mansell in 1921 and they had one son together, Vernon. After his wife’s death in 1930, Jessie continued to provide for his family as a cotton mill laborer until his death in 1960.

Other notable relatives

In addition to her direct family, Lisa Marie Presley also had a number of other notable relatives. Her maternal aunt was actress Joanne Roos, and her paternal uncles were William (Bill) Elvis Presley and Jesse Joe Presley. Bill was an entrepreneur who ran a variety of businesses in the Memphis area and was instrumental in helping Elvis establish his career. Jesse Joe was a musical artist who performed on Elvis’s album, “Elvis is Back!”.

Billy and Jo Smith (stepbrothers)

Billy and Jo Smith are the stepbrothers of Lisa Marie Presley. They are the children of Priscilla Beaulieu and her later husband, Marco Garibaldi. Billy was born in 1987 and Jo was born in 1989. The two boys have grown up in a privileged lifestyle, attending private school in Bel Air, California. Although they were not raised by Elvis Presley, they still consider him to be their influence and idol.

Patsy Presley Geranen (cousin)

Patsy Presley Geranen is the cousin of Lisa Marie Presley and the daughter of Jesse Joe Presley, Elvis’s uncle. Patsy was born in 1955 and first met her famous cousin when she was just four years old. Like Elvis, Patsy has an interest in music and has released several gospel albums over the years. She also runs a website dedicated to preserving her family’s legacy.

Controversies and Challenges

Legal battles over Elvis’s estate

Legal battles over Elvis’s estate have been ongoing ever since his death in 1977. His daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, inherited a substantial portion of her father’s wealth and has been involved in several lengthy court proceedings to protect it.

In 2003, she was successful in preventing the unauthorized use of her father’s image and likeness by an impersonator. In 2006, she won a copyright infringement case against a company that had been using Elvis’s name and music without permission.

Allegations of mismanagement and exploitation

Allegations of mismanagement and exploitation have been leveled at Lisa Marie Presley’s former business manager, Barry Siegel. In 2008, Siegel sued Presley for $800,000 in unpaid management fees.

The lawsuit sparked a flurry of allegations that Siegel had mismanaged the Presley estate by investing her money in risky ventures and failing to pay taxes on time. Further reports alleged that Siegel had also profited off of Presley’s fame by exploiting her image without her permission.

Impact on Elvis’s family dynamics and relationships

The death of Elvis Presley had a significant impact on the dynamics and relationships within his family. With the passing of a beloved figure, the family was left with grief and uncertainty. His daughter Lisa Marie was only nine years old when her father died, and as such she experienced a great deal of instability in her childhood. She struggled to come to terms with her father’s death and the subsequent public scrutiny and media attention that came with it.

Legacy and Impact

Continued popularity and influence of Elvis Presley’s music

Elvis Presley’s music continues to be popular and influential to this day. His songs have been covered by artists of all genres, from country and rock to pop and hip-hop. He is often cited as an influence on contemporary musicians, with his style of singing and songwriting serving as an inspiration for many artists. Elvis’ signature sound has also been sampled in a variety of different songs, further proving the enduring power of his music.

Preservation and celebration of the Presley family legacy

The Presley family has worked hard to preserve and celebrate their legacy. Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie Presley has been a vocal advocate for her father’s memory, regularly speaking out against any exploitation of his image or music. She also runs an official website dedicated to preserving her family’s history, as well as organizing various events to mark the anniversary of Elvis’ death. The Presley family is also active in other areas, such as charity work and support for veterans.

Contributions of Lisa Marie Presley and the extended family to the music industry

Lisa Marie Presley and her extended family have made significant contributions to the music industry. Lisa Marie herself is an accomplished musician who has released several albums of her own, including the critically acclaimed Storm & Grace in 2012. Elvis’s cousin Patsy Presley Geranen also has a career in music and has released several gospel albums over the years. The extended family have also been vocal about preserving the legacy of Elvis, and have worked hard to ensure that his memory is honored and respected.

Conclusion

Elvis Presley’s legacy continues to live on through his music, image and family. His daughter Lisa Marie has been instrumental in preserving his memory and protecting the family’s interests. The extended family also play an important role in maintaining the Presley legacy, with Patsy Presley Geranen continuing to produce music inspired by her cousin’s work. With their efforts, Elvis ’ music and legacy can continue to be celebrated for generations to come.

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