“Howes’ Illnesses of the Famous: Elvis Aaron Presley – Part 2 of 3”
Elvis Presley, one of our greatest pop culture icons, was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor at his home, Graceland, in Memphis on August 16, 1977. He was officially pronounced dead at 3:30 pm at Baptist Memorial Hospital. So, what took his life at the young age of 42 years? Doctors, hospital records, friends, authors, associates and employees have served as my information source for many of Elvis’ illnesses. Reportedly, Elvis kept his illnesses away from fans because ‘they wouldn’t go to a concert to watch a dying man.’ Also, he had to maintain his macho image that had been created by his heroic roles in his many formulaic movies. Elvis’ medical problems could have started early, as he had a low birth weight because he was one of twins. His boyhood diet likely suffered because of the abject poverty of his upbringing. Poorer people were believed to be three times more susceptible to heart disease and stroke. Some of his possible reported medical illnesses were as follows: insomnia, glaucoma and Reiter’s syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, migraine headaches, obesity, heart disease, heart enlargement, spastic colon, neuropathies, liver and bone marrow cancer, pernicious anemia, mega-colon and colonic deformities, compressed spinal fractures, and a suppressed immune system.