How Did Elvis Presley Die?

Elvis Presley's grave at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee.
 Richard I'Anson

How Did Elvis Presley Die? When Did Elvis Die?

Elvis died on August 16, 1977 in the upstairs bathroom at Graceland. According to reports, he was found on the bathroom floor, and then Elvis was rushed to the hospital where he was officially pronounced dead. His death is surrounded in mystery and controversy - leading to many, many Elvis conspiracy theories, but here are the facts about when Elvis died and what caused his death.

The coroner recorded the cause of death as cardiac arrhythmia. While true in the strictest sense (cardiac arrhythmia simply means that he experienced an irregular heartbeat which then caused Elvis's heart to stop. 

Many fans have noticed that attending physicians deliberately omitted the reasons for Elvis's death and irregular heartbeat. Later, it was revealed that the underlying cause of these heart problems was an overdoes of prescription drugs, including codeine, Valium, morphine, and Demorol. There may have been additional drugs as well. Once this information about Elvis's death was released, Vernon Presley, Elvis' father, had the complete autopsy report sealed. It will remain sealed until 2027, fifty years after The King's death.

After Elvis died, thousands of fans traveled to Memphis, causing traffic jams and other problems. The National Guard was called into the city in the days surrounding his funeral, which took place on August 18, 1977. 

Elvis's Funeral

Flags were lowered to half-mast as the City of Memphis prepared for Elvis' funeral procession. By all accounts, more than 30,000 people were allowed to pass by the King's casket which was set up in the foyer of Graceland. After his funeral, Elvis was laid to rest at Forest Hills Cemetery. His body was later moved to Graceland. You can read more about Elvis' final resting place in this article

Because of the controversy surrounding the autopsy as well as a few other questionable circumstances, some people believe that Elvis Presley is still alive or at least, that he didn't actually die in 1977. While I don't believe that Elvis is still alive, it is an interesting idea to explore. You can read more about the theory here.

Assuming you do believe that Elvis died in 1977, though, you can actually visit his grave site at Graceland.

In 2017, Graceland celebrated the 40th anniversary of Elvis' death with a special Elvis Week in Memphis, Tennessee which was the first Elvis Week since the opening of Elvis Presley's Memphis entertainment complex and The Guest House at Graceland hotel near the Mansion.

Updated January 2018 by Holly Whitfield

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