Elvis Presley, nicknamed the “King of Rock and Roll” was the first well-known rock and roll singer. Elvis was born to a very poor family and had a twin brother who died at birth. He was part American Indian, Cherokee to be more specific. He was also related to two United States presidents. He was distantly related to both Abraham Lincoln and Jimmy Carter. He had a wide range of hobbies and eccentricities. He held a black belt in karate, a sport he picked up while serving in the United States Army. He liked to collect statues of the Venus de Milo and Joan of Arc. Some of the first jobs he held were truck driver and usher at the local movie theater. As a hobby he enjoyed visiting the morgue in Memphis to see the corpses. For two years he chose only to eat mashed potatoes, meatloaf, and tomatoes. Elvis paid more taxes than any other person in the United States in the year 1973. Although he was raised a Christian, he wore symbols of several different religions and at one time said, “I don’t want to miss out on heaven due to a technicality”. The only woman he married during his life, Priscilla Presley, was a mere fourteen years old when she and Elvis, ten years her senior, met. They had one child together, Lisa Marie, before their divorce. It is said that Elvis remained close to both of them.
Elvis’ first love and priority was his acting career. However, he is probably most famously known for his musical career. Aside from his influence on rock and roll, he was also an accomplished country western and gospel singer. He is in the hall of fames for all three genres. In fact, the three Grammy awards he won during his life were all for gospel songs that he sang. Elvis Presley actually did not write a single one of the over six hundred songs that he recorded during his lifetime. Nearly forty percent of Elvis’ estimated one billion record sales worldwide were outside the United States. This is interesting because during his career, Elvis only performed four lives shows outside the United States. When he died of a heart attack in 1977, caused by an apparent accidental prescription drug overdose, his net worth was a mere $5 million. It is thought that had he lived, he would have gone bankrupt within a few years’ time. In 2007, it was estimated by Forbes that he was the highest-earning deceased person, earning an estimated $49 million.
As many as fifty thousand people world-wide make a living as Elvis impersonators. There are also some very unique and fascinating laws that have been decreed throughout the world concerning Elvis. It is illegal to mow your lawn if you are dressed like Elvis in Switzerland. In one state in Somalia, it is against the law to impersonate Elvis unless you have a beard. Elvis Presley was very generous and liked to help people whenever he could. His devoted fans to this day carry on his legacy and give generously in his name.