The Last Hours of Elvis' life

Please note that all times are based upon “first hand recollections” taken during the time period of August 16, 1977 through October 27, 197. All times are “CST” which is Central Standard Time for Memphis Tennessee. 


Tuesday, August 16, 1977:


12:00 (Midnight):Elvis, along with his girlfriend Ginger Alden, return to Graceland after Elvis requested and received “dental assistance” (note: it has been reported that Elvis was given a “temporary crown”) earlier at (approximately) 10:30 pm via Elvis’ Dentist Dr. Lester Hofman.


2:30 am:Elvis calls his Doctor and asks for specific painkillers. Elvis stated that he had a dental procedure done earlier, as could not sleep and needed his rest for the upcoming tour, and was experiencing tooth pain. The Doctor issues the prescription for the medication requested by Elvis and Elvis sends his step-brother (i.e. Ricky Stanley) to pick up six Dilaudid pills for Elvis from the “all night pharmacy” located at Baptist Memorial Hospital.


4:00 am: Elvis still cannot sleep at which point he awakens his “first cousin” Billy Smith, along with Billy Smith’s wife Jo, and “invites” them to play racquetball with him. Elvis, being heavily medicated, tired, and anxious about leaving later on in the day for his first tour since the “press onslaught” concerning the book “Elvis What Happened” plays the racquetball game while barely moving.


4:30 am: Elvis, after completing the game of racquetball, stops at the piano (located directly outside the racquetball court), and plays two gospel songs (note: there is disputes about what songs were played but it has been stated that the “belief” is that Elvis played; Precious Lord, How Great Thou Art, and/or Old Rugged Cross) along with one “non-gospel song” entitled “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.”


5:00 am: Elvis, along with his girlfriend Ginger Alden, say goodnight and go directly up to Elvis’ bedroom. Elvis then takes a “package of pills” (note: Elvis routinely had his medications put into “packages” so that he did not have to rummage through medication bottles and possibly take the wrong medications). This specific “package of pills” was put together by his personal Physician and was to be taken “twice each day”.


7:00 am: Elvis takes a second “package of pills” (note: Elvis had separate “package of pills” for “pain” and, as example, one for “sleep’ and one for “wake up”, etc.).


8:00 am:Elvis is still unable to sleep at which point he calls his Aunt, Delta Mae Biggs who also resides at Graceland, to “bring him a third package of pills”. She arrives, with the third package of pills, a few moments later (note: Delta Mae Biggs, along with a few “trusted” family members/Memphis mafia members, were entrusted with keeping “readily available “packets of medications” for Elvis at all times”.


9:30 am: Elvis, in his bedroom with Ginger Alden, informs Ginger that he still cannot sleep and tells her that he is going into his bathroom to read (note: there are disputes concerning which book Elvis takes with him and the dispute is between the books; “The Scientific Search for the Face of Jesus” and/or “The Prophet”. It is our belief that the most reliable source is that Elvis took “The Scientific Search for the Face of Jesus” and he left “The Prophet” on his bedside table”. While Elvis is heading towards his bathroom, book in hand, Ginger replies to Elvis “Don’t fall asleep in there”. Elvis’ response is “Okay, I won’t,” Sadly, these are the last words that Elvis ever said that was heard by anyone.


1:30 pm:Ginger awakes from her sleep and is surprised to find that Elvis is not asleep beside her (note: it was an “unwritten rule” that whoever went to bed with Elvis was entrusted with checking on him regularly. This was done because in addition to Elvis being a sleep walker he was also on medications that could “kick in”, all of a sudden, rendering Elvis unable to complete whatever it was that he was doing at the time such as eating, reading, etc. For Elvis to have been “unchecked” from approximately 9:30am until 1:30pm was HIGHLY UNUSUAL). She immediately goes to the bathroom door and knocks while saying “Elvis are you ok”. After getting no response she opens the bathroom door and discovers Elvis lying on the bathroom floor. Ginger immediately, and frantically, calls out (including using the intercom system and the telephone) for Elvis’ Associates (i.e. Al Strada and Joe Esposito). Al Strada, and Joe Esposito, arrive and try to move Elvis and check his vitals and they immediately call for an ambulance conveying that it is an “EMERGENCY involving Elvis Presley”.


2:04pm: The ambulance arrives at Graceland at which point the medics try to revive Elvis and check his vitals. Elvis is put onto a stretcher and placed into the ambulance and it is relayed to Baptist Memorial Hospital that Elvis is “unresponsive” and en route.


2:56 pm: Elvis Presley arrives via ambulance at Baptist Memorial Hospital and is taken into the Emergency Room where Doctors, and medical care providers, frantically try to revive Elvis. All attempts to revive Elvis are unsuccessful.


3:30 pm: The Physicians at Baptist Memorial Hospital officially pronounce that “Elvis Presley” is dead. The “official cause of death” is “cardiac arrhythmia” (note: the Coroners Autopsy notes reflect that Elvis may have suffered from heart disease and, in fact, Elvis heart was reported to have been “one and a half times the size of a normal mans heart with the same height/weight/age”. Elvis Presley’ Autopsy was completed at 7:00pm CST officially) which means “stopped heart”.


4:00 pm: Surrounded by a “sea of reporters” Vernon Presley informs the press that “My son is dead.”
 

              

From the last vacation circa 1977

From the last vacation circa 1977

Site Content

Elvis in the 1970's & charitable acts

  

The 1970s were a decade of change for Elvis.


He had made a successful transition out of the movie contracts into live performing. He was married and was blessed with a daughter…Lisa Marie.

He had ruled Las Vegas and all of his concert 


Elvis & St Jude’s and other charities

Out of the many charities Elvis supported one of his favorite charities was St. Jude’s Hospital for children in Memphis. Beginning in June 1957 Elvis appeared with Danny Thomas on stage promoted as the “Shower of Stars”. This concert was at Russwood Park in Memphis. 


In 1964 Elvis purchased a yacht named “the Potomac, whose previous owner was the United States President Franklin Roosevelt. The event raised (approximately) $55,000 and the yacht was scheduled to be sold via auction with the proceeds going to St. Jude’s Hospital.


Elvis Deserves More Recognition
For His Many Charitable Acts

Throughout most of his career, Elvis generously gave of his time, talent, and money to support various charitable causes. His generosity in this area has been noted by his biographers, but not given the level of recognition it deserves. Let’s try, then, as well as can be done in this limited space, to highlight and celebrate how Elvis shared the bounty of his life with those far less fortunate.

Elvis felt especially charitable during the Christmas season. It started as early as December 1957, when he donated $1,050 so that all students at his alma mater, Humes High School, could attend the annual E. H. Crump Memorial Football Game for the Blind in Memphis.


(Left: U.S.S. Arizona Benefit Show, Bloch Arena, Honolulu, March 25, 1961)

After Elvis returned home from the army, he started an annual holiday season custom of contributing funds to Memphis charities. In November 1962, Elvis presented Memphis Mayor Loeb with a $50,000 donation to a combination of Memphis charities. A few days before Christmas in 1963, Elvis was back in the mayor’s office, this time handing over a check for $55,000 to be distributed among 58 local charities. Elvis donated similar amounts to Memphis charities at year’s end in both 1964 and 1965. By 1966, his generosity to the needy in his hometown had doubled to over $100,00. The following religious season, Elvis pledged $10,500 to the Memphis Jewish Community Center Building Fund.


In recognition of Elvis’s many charitable contributions to the city, both Memphis Mayor William Ingram and Tennessee Governor Buford Ellington declared October 29, 1967, “Elvis Presley Day” in the city and state.

• Elvis stood up in the fight against polio

Early in his career, Elvis came forward to support the March of Dimes, a foundation seeking to find a cure for children’s polio. In this cause, Elvis gave his time and image to encourage the public to support the charity. On October 28, 1956, before appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show that evening, Elvis was inoculated with the new Salk polio vaccine and recorded a public service announcement for the March of Dimes. In January 1958, Elvis posed for photographs at Graceland with March of Dimes poster girl, eight-year-old Mary Kosloski, and while in the army in January 1959 he again appeared in publicity shots with that year’s March of Dimes poster child. Later that year, Elvis continued his support of the organization by publicly receiving a polio booster shot.

Undoubtedly the most publicized of Elvis’s charitable efforts were the benefit concerts he performed throughout his career. His first such show came on July 4, 1956, at Memphis’s Russwood Park. Over 14,000 tickets were sold, with all proceeds going to The Cynthia Milk Fund and the Variety Club’s Home for Convalescent Children. Elvis’s next benefit concert was in Tupelo, Mississippi, on September 27, 1957. After expenses, all proceeds, which amounted to over $14,000, went toward the construction of a youth center in Tupelo.

• Benefit show for USS Arizona Memorial most remembered

After leaving the army in 1960, Elvis performed live on stage just three times before settling into a Hollywood career through the sixties. All three shows were benefit concerts. The first two concerts were part of a Memphis charity event at Ellis Auditorium on February 25, 1961. Elvis’s afternoon and evening shows brought in a total of $51,612, of which $47,823 was divided among 26 Memphis charities. The remaining $3,789 was set aside for the Elvis Presley Youth Center in Tupelo. A month later, probably Elvis’s most well-known benefit concert was held in Hawaii to raise funds for the USS Arizona Memorial. The show at Honolulu’s Bloch Arena netted $62,000 for the monument in Pearl Harbor. (While in Hawaii in 1965 on location for Paradise, Hawaiian Style, Elvis and Colonel Parker visited the completed memorial to lay a bell-shaped wreath in honor of the servicemen killed aboard the Arizona.)

There were two more benefit shows during Presley’s concert years in the seventies. Elvis’s 1973 worldwide satellite concert at Honolulu’s International Convention Center on January 13-14 benefited the Kui Lee Cancer Fund. No admission was charged but those attending donated over $75,000 to the cancer fund. Finally, on May 5, 1975, Elvis gave a charity concert in Jackson, Mississippi, to benefit victims of a McComb, Mississippi, tornado. After the concert, Elvis presented a check for more than $100,000 to Governor Bill Waller.

• Elvis responsible for many other random acts of kindness

One of Elvis’s favorite charities was St. Jude’s Hospital for children in Memphis. In June 1957, Elvis appeared on stage with hospital benefactor Danny Thomas at the “Shower of Stars” benefit show at Russwood Park in Memphis. Then, in 1964 Elvis purchased Franklin Roosevelt’s yacht, the Potomac, for $55,000 and presented it to Danny Thomas to be auctioned off, with benefits going to St. Jude’s Hospital.

Scattered throughout Elvis’s career were many other charitable acts, which received little, if any, press coverage at the time. On November 5, 1956, Elvis made a non-performance appearance in Memphis supporting a new driver-education program, and on September 20, 1957, he appeared on Memphis TV to support the same cause. On December 12, 1956, Elvis donated toys to a Marine Corps drive for underprivileged children. The following April he was the first contributor to “Coffee Day for Crippled Children,” a Memphis charity. While in the army in January 1959, Elvis joined fellow soldiers in donating blood to the German Red Cross. In 1965 Frank Sinatra and Barbara Stanwyck thanked Elvis in a special ceremony for his $50,000 donation to the “Motion Picture Relief Fund,” and in 1970 Elvis contributed $7,000 to the Los Angeles Police community relations program. And in May 1971, Elvis gave flowers for Mother's Day to all female employees at the International Hotel in Las Vegas.

Finally, Elvis twice made unusual contributions to the Memphis Zoo. In June 1957 he shipped to the zoo a wallaby he had received as a gift from Australia. Five years later Presley fans in Australia sent him another wallaby, which he also gifted to the Memphis Zoo.

• We’ll never know about all of Elvis’s charitable acts

The charitable acts listed above are just those noted in Ernst Jorgensen and Peter Guralnick’s book, Elvis: Day by Day. Undoubtedly, during his lifetime Elvis was responsible for many other acts of charity that went unreported and will remain unknown. Elvis fans can be justly proud that their favorite entertainer often shared the good fortune of his life with the less fortunate. It was only natural that he had the compassion to do so, since he was raised in a family that needed a helping hand occasionally. 

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"Early in his career, Elvis came forward to support the March of Dimes, a foundation seeking to find a cure for children’s polio."

Elvis Deserves More Recognition

For His Many Charitable Acts

Throughout most of his career, Elvis generously gave of his time, talent, and money to support various charitable causes. His generosity in this area has been noted by his biographers, but not given the level of recognition it deserves. Let’s try, then, as well as can be done in this limited space, to highlight and celebrate how Elvis shared the bounty of his life with those far less fortunate.

Elvis felt especially charitable during the Christmas season. It started as early as December 1957, when he donated $1,050 so that all students at his alma mater, Humes High School, could attend the annual E. H. Crump Memorial Football Game for the Blind in Memphis.

(Left: U.S.S. Arizona Benefit Show, Bloch Arena, Honolulu, March 25, 1961)

After Elvis returned home from the army, he started an annual holiday season custom of contributing funds to Memphis charities. In November 1962, Elvis presented Memphis Mayor Loeb with a $50,000 donation to a combination of Memphis charities. A few days before Christmas in 1963, Elvis was back in the mayor’s office, this time handing over a check for $55,000 to be distributed among 58 local charities. Elvis donated similar amounts to Memphis charities at year’s end in both 1964 and 1965. By 1966, his generosity to the needy in his hometown had doubled to over $100,00. The following religious season, Elvis pledged $10,500 to the Memphis Jewish Community Center Building Fund.

In recognition of Elvis’s many charitable contributions to the city, both Memphis Mayor William Ingram and Tennessee Governor Buford Ellington declared October 29, 1967, “Elvis Presley Day” in the city and state.

• Elvis stood up in the fight against polio

Early in his career, Elvis came forward to support the March of Dimes, a foundation seeking to find a cure for children’s polio. In this cause, Elvis gave his time and image to encourage the public to support the charity. On October 28, 1956, before appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show that evening, Elvis was inoculated with the new Salk polio vaccine and recorded a public service announcement for the March of Dimes. In January 1958, Elvis posed for photographs at Graceland with March of Dimes poster girl, eight-year-old Mary Kosloski, and while in the army in January 1959 he again appeared in publicity shots with that year’s March of Dimes poster child. Later that year, Elvis continued his support of the organization by publicly receiving a polio booster shot.

Undoubtedly the most publicized of Elvis’s charitable efforts were the benefit concerts he performed throughout his career. His first such show came on July 4, 1956, at Memphis’s Russwood Park. Over 14,000 tickets were sold, with all proceeds going to The Cynthia Milk Fund and the Variety Club’s Home for Convalescent Children. Elvis’s next benefit concert was in Tupelo, Mississippi, on September 27, 1957. After expenses, all proceeds, which amounted to over $14,000, went toward the construction of a youth center in Tupelo.

• Benefit show for USS Arizona Memorial most remembered

After leaving the army in 1960, Elvis performed live on stage just three times before settling into a Hollywood career through the sixties. All three shows were benefit concerts. The first two concerts were part of a Memphis charity event at Ellis Auditorium on February 25, 1961. Elvis’s afternoon and evening shows brought in a total of $51,612, of which $47,823 was divided among 26 Memphis charities. The remaining $3,789 was set aside for the Elvis Presley Youth Center in Tupelo. A month later, probably Elvis’s most well-known benefit concert was held in Hawaii to raise funds for the USS Arizona Memorial. The show at Honolulu’s Bloch Arena netted $62,000 for the monument in Pearl Harbor. (While in Hawaii in 1965 on location for Paradise, Hawaiian Style, Elvis and Colonel Parker visited the completed memorial to lay a bell-shaped wreath in honor of the servicemen killed aboard the Arizona.)

There were two more benefit shows during Presley’s concert years in the seventies. Elvis’s 1973 worldwide satellite concert at Honolulu’s International Convention Center on January 13-14 benefited the Kui Lee Cancer Fund. No admission was charged but those attending donated over $75,000 to the cancer fund. Finally, on May 5, 1975, Elvis gave a charity concert in Jackson, Mississippi, to benefit victims of a McComb, Mississippi, tornado. After the concert, Elvis presented a check for more than $100,000 to Governor Bill Waller.

• Elvis responsible for many other random acts of kindness

One of Elvis’s favorite charities was St. Jude’s Hospital for children in Memphis. In June 1957, Elvis appeared on stage with hospital benefactor Danny Thomas at the “Shower of Stars” benefit show at Russwood Park in Memphis. Then, in 1964 Elvis purchased Franklin Roosevelt’s yacht, the Potomac, for $55,000 and presented it to Danny Thomas to be auctioned off, with benefits going to St. Jude’s Hospital.

Scattered throughout Elvis’s career were many other charitable acts, which received little, if any, press coverage at the time. On November 5, 1956, Elvis made a non-performance appearance in Memphis supporting a new driver-education program, and on September 20, 1957, he appeared on Memphis TV to support the same cause. On December 12, 1956, Elvis donated toys to a Marine Corps drive for underprivileged children. The following April he was the first contributor to “Coffee Day for Crippled Children,” a Memphis charity. While in the army in January 1959, Elvis joined fellow soldiers in donating blood to the German Red Cross. In 1965 Frank Sinatra and Barbara Stanwyck thanked Elvis in a special ceremony for his $50,000 donation to the “Motion Picture Relief Fund,” and in 1970 Elvis contributed $7,000 to the Los Angeles Police community relations program. And in May 1971, Elvis gave flowers for Mother's Day to all female employees at the International Hotel in Las Vegas.

Finally, Elvis twice made unusual contributions to the Memphis Zoo. In June 1957 he shipped to the zoo a wallaby he had received as a gift from Australia. Five years later Presley fans in Australia sent him another wallaby, which he also gifted to the Memphis Zoo.

• We’ll never know about all of Elvis’s charitable actsal

appearances were sold out and he was the highest paid entertainer in history (at that time).

Going into the 70’s Elvis was fit, happy, and optimistic, vocally in great shape, energized, passionate, and confident. 

Within a few years, after the start of the 70’s, Elvis life would turn…upside down.

His marriage would fail – he would file for divorce – his health deteriorated – and his monetary pressures increased. 

The story of Elvis’ life in the 1970’s, as was the case throughout his life, cannot be fully discerned in only one website and/or online series of posts. However, we will be adding new content to this page and make it a cornerstone of our site so please check back often.

In reflection here are some of Elvis’ inner most thoughts, and questions, many of which Elvis was never able to answer in his lifetime.

Elvis Aron Presley, or as he preferred to use his middle name later on in his life of "Elvis Aaron Presley", remains the Greatest Entertainer who ever...lived. 

Elvis always said "if you cut me I'll bleed". Elvis always questioned "Why"? And "why did God choose me"? 

Elvis left many unanswered questions and though he was blessed with many talents he also suffered in every conceivable manner (i.e. the guilt of his twin dying at birth, growing up dirt poor, his Mother’s death on 8/14/1958, being drafted into the US Army at the height of his fame, wasting many of his best years in "less than great" movie rolls, getting divorced from his wife, being a Father to a child he never got to see every day yet loved her with every breath he took, monetary issues due in part to Colonel Parkers' inequity in giving Elvis his share of revenue(s) along with not maximizing his own tax write off options, touring from 1969 - 1977, his health issues, his depression, his inability to find a "permanent soul mate", his insomnia and sleep apnea, the betrayal he felt concerning "Elvis What Happened", his CBS taping of Elvis in Concert in 1977 knowing he was bloated and in bad health, investigations into the sale of his plane, etc. etc.). 

Elvis will forever be missed and yet loved and his name never forgotten by those who saw him in person and generations to come who will listen to his songs, wonder if he "really ever existed", and respect and appreciate his body of work that encompassed three decades. 

THANK YOU for visitinollector.info and may God bless you in all of your endeavors. 

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