In honor of what would’ve been Vernon Presley’s birthday, the Elvis Presley estate posted a sweet tribute to the man that Elvis called “Dad.”
On Saturday, the estate posted a sweet black and white photo of both father and son, captioning it with, “Happy Birthday, Vernon Presley! Elvis’s father would have been 105 today!”
While we know much about the King of Rock-n-Roll, what about his father? Vernon was born on Apr. 10, 1916, in Tupelo, Miss. Vernon married Elvis’ mom, Gladys, when he was just 17-years-old. Even though they were rich in love, the young couple had very little to their name. “At that time there was almost nobody poorer than my wife Gladys and me,” Vernon told the Daily Mirror in 1956.
“We were poor,” Vernon said of their life before their son was a star. “When I was sick my wife walked to work many times because she had no carfare. And many times we hardly had any lunch money to give Elvis. But we did eat and had clothes and a roof over our heads. Maybe we got them all on credit, but we had them. We never had much until three years ago, but Elvis never wanted for anything even when we were troubled. And we always taught him right from wrong as far as we knew, though we didn’t have hardly any education.”
Elvis Presley’s Father Opened Up About Being Poor
Soon after tying the knot, the young couple found out they were pregnant. “I was only 18-years-old but throughout Gladys’ pregnancy, it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t be able to take care of her and the baby. My love for my son began even before he was born.”
Sadly, the day Elvis Presley was born, was marred with tragedy for the family. Elvis’s twin, Jesse Garon, was stillborn. Decades later, when their son was rising to unprecedented fame, Vernon stayed involved in his life as his biggest fan. In addition to being a supportive father, he was also Elvis’s financial manager. “And when he got 19 and started making money, he told us ‘You’ve taken care of me for 19 years. Now it’s my turn.'”
When Elvis Presley’s mother passed away from heart failure in 1958 at 46, the family was devastated. Later in 1977, Vernon relived his nightmare when Elvis passed away on Aug. 16, 1977. Two years later, Vernon passed away as well, and the inheritance went to Elvis’ daughter, Lisa Marie Presley. However, Elvis’s ex-wife, Priscilla, managed the estate until their daughter turned 25.