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How Did Benjamin Keough Die? The Sad Death of Elvis Presley’s Grandson

how did benjamin keough die? benjamin keough with Lisa marie presley
Photo Credit: MJT/AdMedia/MediaPunch Contributor: MediaPunch Inc / Alamy Stock Photo

Any death is heartbreaking once it is announced, but it’s devastating when the death is that of someone who seemed to have so much life ahead of them. What’s worse is when that young person felt they had no way out. Such was the case for Elvis Presley’s only grandson. 

Who is Benjamin Keough, and how did Benjamin Keough die? Find out that and more below. 

How Did Benjamin Keough Die?

Benjamin Keough’s death was heartbreakingly caused by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Benjamin Keough’s cause of death was ruled a suicide by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office.  

Why did Ben Keough take his life? Reportedly, Benjamin Keough chose to end his life after arguing with his then-girlfriend, as well as a pressure to succeed.

family member reportedly told The Sun, “He was depressed, he didn’t really have an education, a job, or a passion, he was lost in life, and he has always been in his grandfather’s shadow.”

His grandmother, Priscilla Presley, said the family tried to help relieve him of the pressures that come with being the grandson of Elvis. “Ben’s very much his own person. He strives for that, so we don’t make a really big deal about it. There’s a resemblance [to Elvis], but we just let him be Ben, which I think is beautiful so that he can find out what he wants to do and be who he is.”

The autopsy conducted after his death revealed that he had both alcohol and cocaine in his system at the time. He was also allegedly suffering from depression at the time. 

While suicide being Benjamin Keough’s cause of death is heartbreaking, in this case, it was not as shocking as you might think. Six months prior to Benjamin Keough’s death, he also allegedly tried to take his life. As a result, he spent three weeks in rehab, getting out four months before his death. 

When Did Benjamin Keough Die?

Benjamin Keough passed away on July 12, 2020, in Calabasas, California. 

How Old Was Benjamin Keough When He Died?

Benjamin Keough was only 27 years old when he passed away. 

Benjamin Keough was survived by his mother, father, and sisters. He was also survived by his maternal grandmother, Priscilla Presley. 

Related: Priscilla Presley: Her Crazy Life as Wife to the King

lisa marie presley with 2 of her kids at the hollywood walk of fame awards
LOS ANGELES – June 21: Lisa Marie Presley, Priscilla Presley, Riley Keough honored with hand prints at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on June 21, 2022 in Los Angeles, CA. Image from Shutterstock.

Where is Benjamin Keough Buried?

As part of the Presley family, Benjamin Keough was fittingly laid to rest in Graceland’s Meditation Garden. He lays alongside his “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” singing grandfather, Elvis Presley, as well as his great-grandfather, Vernon Presley, great-grandmother, Gladys Presley, and great-great-grandmother, Minnie Mae Presley.

Unfortunately, his mother, Lisa Marie Presley, joined her deceased relatives just this year following her untimely death in January. 

Related: The 17 Best Elvis Songs of All Time: His Legacy Lives On

Who Inherited Benjamin Keough’s Money?

Being so young, it is unlikely that Benjamin Keough’s will was anywhere close to being thought about or drafted. 

Upon his death, Benjamin Keough’s estate was worth around $1 million, thanks to his efforts to launch a career in music after obtaining a $5 million record deal, although he never released any music. He also tried to break into acting. His one acting credit on IMDB is for his minor role as the delivery guy in the 2017 short film Rod & Barry

So, where did his money go? Since Benjamin Keough’s will was non-existent, it’s unclear where his money went. Logically, however, we’d think Benjamin Keough’s estate was split amongst his mother, father, and sisters.  

What Were Benjamin Keough’s Last Words?

In many cases of suicide, the deceased will often leave behind a suicide note as a final explanation to his loved ones. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for Benjamin Keough’s death. 

The only thing we can infer is that his last words were most likely not pleasant ones if the reports are accurate, and his suicide was the result of an argument with Diana Pinto and his unyielding struggle with depression.

Who is Benjamin Keough?

Benjamin Keough was considered an American socialite throughout his short life as he tried to establish his own career in music and acting outside of the shadow of his famous family. 

When was Benjamin Keough Born?

Benjamin Keough’s birthdate was October 21, 1992. He was born at Humana Women’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida. 

Benjamin Keough’s Zodiac sign was Libra. Because of that, he was considered bold and creative, as well as fun-loving, but also mischievous at times. 

Where Was Benjamin Keough From?

Benjamin Storm Keough was born in Tampa, Florida. 

Where Did Benjamin Keough Live?

At the time of his death, Benjamin Keough was living in Calabasas, Los Angeles, California. 

Benjamin Keough’s Ethnicity

Based on a Tweet by his sister, Riley Keough, Benjamin Keough has both Creek and Cherokee heritage as part of his ethnic background. 

Thanks to his mother, Lisa Marie, he also has several other ethnicities in his background, including German, Norwegian, English, and Scottish, as well as some French, remote Dutch, and Danish. 

How Tall Was Benjamin Keough?

Benjamin Keough’s height was 5 feet, 11 inches tall. 

How Much Did Benjamin Keough Weigh?

Benjamin Keough’s weight was approximately 171 pounds. 

How Did Benjamin Keough Become Famous?

Like his mother, Lisa Marie Presley, Benjamin Keough was famous from the time he was in the womb thanks to his connections to iconic “Hound Dog” singer Elvis Presley and his wife, Priscilla Presley. 

He was always destined to be in the spotlight because of it. It didn’t help that he also became famous for having what was considered an “uncanny resemblance” to his “Jailhouse Rock” singing grandfather. As the first boy to be born from the Presley line, it seems almost a no-brainer that it would’ve been the case. 

Related: How Did Elvis Die?

Benjamin Keough’s Siblings

Benjamin Keough had multiple siblings. Benjamin Keough’s sister, Riley, is his only full sibling, as she was the first child born to Lisa Marie Presley and Danny Keough on May 29, 1989. 

Riley said of her brother’s death, “Mornings are the hardest. I forget you’re gone. I can’t cry because of the fear that I will never stop. A pain that’s new to me.” 

She continued further, saying, “You. There are no words for you. Angel is the closest I could think of. Pure light. Baby brother. Best friend. Wild man. Intellectual. Witness to my life. Twin soul. Protector. Too sensitive for this harsh world.

“I hope you give me strength to endure the giant hole you’ve left in my heart. I hope you give me the strength to eat. I hope you’re cradled in love. I hope you feel my love,” she concluded. “I hope you feel good. You are good. I can’t believe you’ve left me. Not you, sweet Ben Ben. Anyone but you. I guess this is true heartbreak. I hope we meet again.” 

Benjamin Keough also has two twin half-sisters from Lisa Marie Presley’s fourth marriage to Michael Lockwood. The fraternal twins, Harper Vivienne Anne and Finley Aaron Love were born on October 7, 2008. 

lisa marie presley with her parents elvis and priscilla as a baby
Elvis Presley and Priscilla with Lisa Marie, February 1968. Image is in the Public Domain

Who Was Benjamin Keough Dating?

At the time of his death, Benjamin Keough was dating Diana Pinto, whom he reportedly fought with before his death. 

A week after his death, Pinto broke her silence, posting a tribute to her former boyfriend on Instagram. 

“To the most beautiful boy I have ever seen. You make everyone around you light up the second you step into the room. You touch every single soul around you. You love your Sunday morning toons and chocolate milk. I promise to always honor you on Fancy Fridays.” 

The post, which was accompanied by a slideshow of pictures, continued, saying, “Your laugh is heard all over the world now. You made me the luckiest girl in the world to have you, to hold you, to love you, and to be loved by you are the only things that have ever mattered. You are my whole world and my whole life, you live with me now every day in my heart, in my soul, and in my mind.” 

After noting their many travels and memories together, Pinto concluded, writing, “You will always be the love of my life, my everything. Big pies little pies, te amo mas que el sol y la luna mi amorsito,” which is translated, “I love you more than the sun and the moon my love. Love forever, Honu.” 

Benjamin Keough’s Parents

Benjamin Keough was the son of Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of the King of Rock and Roll himself, Elvis Presley, and her first husband, Danny Keough. 

Lisa Marie was “completely heartbroken, inconsolable, and beyond devastated but trying to stay strong for her 11-year-old twins and her daughter Riley. She adored that boy. He was the love of her life,” according to Roger Widnynowski, Lisa Marie’s representative at the time of Benjamin Keough’s death. 

Later, Presley spoke out on her own behalf, saying she blamed herself for her son’s death. In an essay published in the August 2022 edition of People magazine, she wrote, “I already battle with and beat myself up tirelessly and chronically, blaming myself every single day, and that’s hard enough now to live with. But others will judge and blame you, too, even secretly or behind your back, which is even more cruel and painful on top of everything else.” 

Related: Who is Danny Keough?

Benjamin Keough’s Tattoos

Thanks to some photos shared by Riley Keough after her brother’s shocking death, we know that Benjamin Keough sported a few tattoos. The picture revealed that he had a long quote on the left side of his chest, as well as what appeared to be permanently inked words on his neck. 

His mother, Lisa Marie Presley, also revealed that she and Benjamin got matching tattoos one Mother’s Day on their feet. Alongside a photo of the matching tattoos, she wrote, “Several years ago, on Mother’s Day, my son and I got these matching tattoos on our feet. It’s a Celtic eternity knot. Symbolizing that we will be connected eternally. We carefully picked it to represent our eternal love and our eternal bond.” 

How Many Children Did Lisa Marie Presley Have?

Lisa Marie Presley had four children. Two, Riley and Benjamin Keough, were from her first marriage, and her twin girls, Harper and Finely, came from her fourth marriage. No children were born from her second and third marriages to Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage, respectively. 

What Did Lisa Marie Presley Die From?

Lisa Marie Presley died of a sudden cardiac arrest on January 12, 2023. Her death shocked many as she seemed to be healthy and happy just a few days prior at the Golden Globe Awards, where she watched actor Austin Butler take home the Best Actor in a Leading Role Award for his portrayal of the late “Love Me Tender” singer in the Baz Luhrmann biopic, Elvis

Related: How Did Lisa Marie Presley Die?

Benjamin Keough Funeral

As to be expected, Benjamin Keough’s funeral was a sad, as well as an extremely private affair. Benjamin Keough’s funeral was said to be an emotional one as well.

According to an insider, “It was an emotional day for everyone. The whole family has been left devastated,” The Sun reported. “Riley, in particular, is finding it difficult to cope at the moment. They were very close. But everyone did their best to come together and celebrated Ben’s life and remember how he touched so many hearts.”

The insider further went on to say that the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult “for Lisa to find a venue suitable” and “it was a very private service for those who really knew Ben.”

The venue for the service was reportedly decorated with cherry blossoms.

Did Benjamin Keough have an open casket at his funeral? Yes. The same insider noted that “Ben was placed in an open casket in a designer suit, which shocked some of the guests considering how he died, but his grandfather was also on display at Graceland. There was a viewing room, and mourners could decide whether or not they wanted to go in and see him one last time.”


Just like with any death by suicide, the message that anyone needs takeaway is to check in on your loved ones from time to time. Just because they seem OK on the outside doesn’t mean they’re OK on the inside. 

Suicide, particularly suicide by the use of guns, is a leading cause of death in the United States right now, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but it doesn’t have to be. It breaks our hearts to know that Lisa Marie Presley spent her final years blaming herself for her son’s death. 

That’s a fate that no mother, father, sibling, friend, or whomever should have to live with. 

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Written by Katie Peterson

Katie Peterson received her bachelor's degree in English from the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth in 2015. She has worked in journalism since 2015, beginning as production assistant and eventual head staff writer of the Fort Leavenworth Lamp newspaper in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Currently, she is a multimedia journalist with the Diocese of Nashville's Office of Media and Evangelization where she writes, does photography, and edits for several types of content, including the Tennessee Register, Catholic Awakenings, and She has also worked as a freelance journalist with the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas's newspaper, The Leaven, since 2016.
In her spare time, Peterson enjoys reading, spending time with her pup, Sadie Lynn, singing and songwriting.


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