Elvis Aaron Presley is a true American icon. Known as the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis is one of the most beloved musical entertainers of all time, both nationally and on the global scene. While everyone may know about his famous peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwich creation or his iconic dance moves, there is still a lot to uncover about this legendary performer. Here are 32 facts about Elvis that will make you see him in a new light.
1. Elvis Was a Twin: Elvis was born approximately 35 minutes after his twin brother, Jesse Garon, was born stillborn at their two-room home in East Tupelo, Mississippi.
2. Never Performed Outside North America: Despite being a global music sensation, Elvis never performed live outside of North America, with all of his gigs coming in the US and a few in Canada in 1957.
3. Rumors That Elvis’ Manager Was an Illegal Immigrant: There has been much speculation that the reason that Elvis never performed overseas was that his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, was an illegal immigrant who was worried that he would be denied entry back into the country.
4. Purchased a Presidential Yacht: Elvis purchased the former presidential yacht, The Potomac, belonging to Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the price of $55,000 in 1964.
5. First Big Stage Performance: His first big stage performance happened on “The Milton Berle Show” in June of 1956, singing his signature hit “Hound Dog.”
6. Distant Relative of Two Presidents: Elvis is distant relative to two former US presidents, Abraham Lincoln and Jimmy Carter.
7. Ladies Man: Following his 1972 divorce from Priscilla, Elvis was quite the ladies man inviting women over to Graceland, with one report of him having 152 women over in one night.
8. What a Bargain: When Elvis bought his Graceland estate in Memphis in 1957 at the beginning of his career, the purchase price was only $100,000.
9. First Record from a Mama’s Boy: Elvis’ first record was a gift that he made for his mother when he was just 18 years old.
10. Natural Hair Color: His distinctive jet black hair is actually dyed that color with his natural color being a shade of medium brown.
11. Average Music Student: Elvis was never known for being an academic while in school, once even earning just a C in his 8th grade music class.
12. Found Dead on Bathroom Floor: Elvis was found dead on his bathroom floor in Graceland by his girlfriend at the time, Ginger Alden.
13. First Guitar Came From a Hardware Store: Despite asking for a rifle or a bicycle for his 11th birthday, his mom took him to a hardware store in Tupelo to pick out his first guitar instead.
14. A Savage in the Making: Elvis was given his nickname of “Savage” from a Florida judge who was displeased with his iconic hip movements and body shaking as he danced on stage.
15. He Was Bullied: Elvis said that he was bullied at times when growing up, recalling stories of his peers at school throwing rotten fruit at him or cutting his guitar strings.
16. Elvis Was in the Military: When Elvis’ beloved mother Gladys fell ill, he rushed back from the military to be by her side.
17. Just a Baby: Priscilla Presley was only 14 years old when she met her future husband and began dating him.
18. Karate Kid: Elvis was a fan of karate, particularly the fighting style known as Chito-Ryu, even earning his black belt in 1960.
19. Comic Collector: He was a self-described comic book fan and collector, with many of these books still located in the attic of Graceland.
20. Preferred Priscilla with Make-up: Priscilla once said that Elvis refused to look at her without her make-up on, much preferring her to be all done up.
21. Scatter the Chimp: Elvis once owned a pet chimpanzee named Scatter who made frequent appearances at parties at Graceland to entertain the guests with his silly antics.
22. Germaphobe: Priscilla let it slip that her husband was a huge germaphobe, only drinking his coffee near the handle because he thought fewer lips would have touched it there.
23. Received Thousands of Sympathy Cards: Elvis received over 100,000 sympathy cards from fans after the tragic passing of his mother in 1958 after a heart attack.
24. Present from Nixon: To honor his love of law enforcement, President Richard Nixon once gave Elvis a Narcotic Officer’s badge during a meeting at the White House.
25. Big Tipper: Elvis once tipped his limo driver in Miami with the actual limousine, proving his generosity to others.
26. Multiple Televisions: Elvis had three different televisions set up in his media room so that he could watch multiple programs at once.
27. No Fan of Goulet: Actor Robert Goulet did not endear himself to Elvis, as evidenced by the fact that the King would shoot the television when he could come on the screen and simply replace it with a new set.
28. Vaccine Advocate: In order to encourage citizens to get the polio vaccine, Elvis posed for the press getting his own vaccine just prior to performing on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
29. Was Not Initially Welcomed to Vegas: Despite eventually becoming one of Sin City’s hottest acts, Elvis was not originally welcomed to Las Vegas with many critics saying his style was too sexy.
30. Forbidden Fish: Elvis reportedly hated the smell of fish so much that it was forbidden in his home.
31. Posed as a Cop: Elvis had an obsession with cops, finding it entertaining to even pose as them and pulling people over as pranks by attaching a siren to his call.
32. Corpse was Almost Stolen: Elvis was originally buried next to his departed mother at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis, however, his remains were moved to a private location in Graceland after there was an attempt to steal his coffin and corpse to hold it for ransom.