• Vernon Elvis Presley
  • Born on April 10, 1916 in Fulton, Itawamba County, Mississippi, and died June 26, 1979 in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Son of Jessie D. McClowell Presley and Minnie Mae Hood
  • Married Gladys Love Smith on June 17, 1933 in Pontotoc County, MS; She died in 1958
  • His 2nd marriage was to Davada (Dee) Stanley
  • Children of Vernon and Gladys: Twins; Jesse Garon (stillborn) and Elvis Aron, born on January 8, 1935; Elvis died at his Memphis mansion, Graceland, age 42, on August 16, 1977

    Vernon and Dee

  • Vernon Presley was known to Elvis always as, "Daddy", ¯ and Vernon often referred to Elvis to everyone as the boy. ¯ Vernon took care of financial matters throughout Elvis' life. He was scared that they would lose the money and end up broke again. This is why he was so scared of the Memphis Mafia, because Elvis wanted to share his riches and give the Mafia gifts all the time. Cautious, Vernon believed the guys were hangers-on, but nonetheless, did form bonds with different members of the Mafia.

    Vernon died of heart failure not long after his son's death in 1979. When he heard the news that Elvis was dead he kept crying, They have killed him, they have taken my son. ¯ We are under no doubt that Vernon loved his son to death and the two shared a special bond. Many people have remarked that Elvis was more of the father figure to Vernon than Vernon was to him. They shared an intimate relationship and one of trust

    A lot of Elvis' wit and abilities came from his dad. The humor, the dry humor - That's Vernon Presley. Most people smile with their lips, but he laughed with his eyes. Elvis got an awful lot of that from him.

    Elvis and Vernon At Graceland

    The Father of a "King"

    Elvis Presley's father, Vernon Elvis Presley, was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, in 1916. According to the New York Times, he was the son of Jessie D. McClowell Presley, who had five children. After Vernon Presley married Gladys Love Smith on June 7, 1933, they moved to Tupelo. It was hard for him to find a well paying job because he lacked in the area of education which is probably the result of dropping out of school when he was in eighth grade. Because he lacked in education, he held various odd jobs which included being a farmer, truck driver, and a painter. Elvis followed in his father's footsteps and also held odd jobs before he signed a contract with Sun Records!

    Vernon Presley was not exempt from feeling the effects of the long bitter Depression especially after serving his jail sentence. During the time of the Depression, he was serving a nine month sentence in the Parchman Penitentiary for forgery. After being released from the Parchman Penitentiary, Vernon began working for the Works Progress Administration which was started under the Roosevelt Administration. Contrary to popular belief, Elvis Presley also committed forgery, but he never had to serve time in prison for this act. Elvis Presley did not forge a check or other documents--his forgery was in a different manner. Elvis deceived his listeners with his voice making it seem like he was a black singer. Elvis's forgery seems to prove, to some extent, that there is some truth in the saying "like father, like son."

    Steve Tamerius stated that Vernon Presley was not always underpaid for the work that he did. At the time of Elvis' death in 1977, Vernon Presley was being paid $75,000 a year by Elvis, for being his business manager. Vernon tried to do an adequate job and tried to get Elvis to stop spending his money foolishly.

    Inside Vernon's Office

    Sign On Vernon's Office Door

    Gladys Love Smith, Vernon's first wife, died of a heart attack on August 14, 1958, and is buried beside her son. Two years after the death of Gladys, Vernon married Davada (Dee) Elliot Stanley. Elvis never attended the second wedding of his father, which shows that he probably did not approve of the it. In the end, Vernon's second marriage ended in a disastrous divorce in 1977 after three years of separation

    Vernon And Elvis Mourn After Gladys' Death

    Vernon Presley, in 1971, on Elvis' Early Days

  • Q. What was it like for Elvis in those first days. He was kind of different from the rest of the guys, wasn't he?

  • Vernon: Well, in some ways, some of the clothes he wore was different. The way he wore his hair was quite different than what there was back then, you know. And he was criticized quite often about it. But it didn't really bother him. He didn't change it. He went on like he was anyway

  • Q: When he first decided to go into show business, did you have any inkling?

  • Vernon: No, he called me into his room one day. I believe it was shortly after he got out of high school, and he said, "I want to be an entertainer." And I said, "Well, you know I don't know much about that sort of thing, but you deal with quite a few people in the business, I see. Why don't you talk to some of them to see what you got to do to get into it, you know." At that time, he was more interested in the gospel singing, the quartet singing. So he tried for two or three different of the young groups, to get in with them. They was either full or didn't think he could sing good enough, I don't know what happened. Then after he made this record, quite a few of the quartet groups wanted him then. So he talked to me again, said what would you do. He said, "I can get into the quartet singing now, the gospel field," and of course, my reaction was, "I wouldn't do it. I'd just keep what I got. Because you tried that before, and they wouldn't take you in." I said, "I'd just stick to what I got." So he did.

  • Q: What did people think about him when he first turned up on television?

  • Vernon: Well, there was different reactions about it. But it seems like most of the people liked it, you know, the way it went over.

  • Q: How did you feel about it?

  • Vernon: Oh I was quite proud of it. The movements didn't really bother me, because I knew there was nothing really wrong with it. I could tell that. So it kind of worried me what other people thought at the time. 'Course it created a little fear, him traveling so much. What some people might try to do, you know. But it worked out real good, and everything.

  • Q: What was it like touring in the early days?

  • Vernon: It was wild. Wild in the early days. I have seen his clothes completely tore off. His shoes gone. Just scratched all over. Bleeding. Just wild fans, you know. Really don't mean to hurt him, just wanted a part of his clothes, or something that belonged to him... Quite a few times he got into pretty narrow escapes like that. He never did get really bad hurt, but he got scratched up quite a bit. But he seemed to enjoy it. It didn't bother him. You know. Didn't scare him, like it scared me when I was him, you know, on the tours and see it happen. It scared the life out of me. 'Cause I didn't know… 'Course it got better because they learned that they had to have tighter security because it could have gotten out of hand many times if they hadn't had the right security.

  • Elvis And Vernon On The Set Of Live A Little, Love A Little

    Elvis Introducing His Daddy On His Last Tour