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Gladys Love Presley (Smith)

Also Known As: "Gladys Love Smith"
Birthplace: Tupelo, Pontotoc, Mississippi, United States
Death: August 14, 1958 (46)
Methodist Hospital, Memphis, Shelby, TN, United States (Cirrhosis of the liver)
Place of Burial: Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Bob Smith and Octavia Lavenia "Doll" Smith
Wife of Vernon Elvis Presley
Mother of Elvis Presley and Jessie Garon Presley
Sister of Effie Smith; Lillian Mann Fortenberry; Lavell Smith; Retha Smith; Travis Smith and 6 others

Occupation: Sewing Machinist, sewing machine operator, Seamstress
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Gladys Presley

Elvis & Gladys By Elaine Dundy

Mother of Elvis Presley. She was born in Pontotoc County, Mississippi. Her parents were Robert Lee Smith and Octavia Luvenia "Doll" Mansell. Gladys' mother Doll, gave birth to nine children. Octavia was bedridden most of her life, dying at 59 from tuberculosis. Her father Robert, was a cotton farmer and would occasionally pick up odd jobs to support his large family. In his fifties, he died suddenly of pneumonia, leaving Gladys then 19 to work in Tupelo as a seamstress to help support the family. She married Vernon Elvis Presley on June 17, 1933. The family rented a house on the edge of Shakerag, an area of Tupelo. She gave birth to twin boys and named them Elvis and Jessie. Jessie was stillborn. In 1948, the Presley's moved to Memphis, Tennessee. They lived in public housing or low rent homes in the poor neighborhoods of north Memphis. The family attended the Assembly of God Church. Elvis worked at various jobs to help support himself and his parents. They were a very close knit family. She had a very special relationship with her son, Elvis. Gladys Presley died of a heart attack brought on by acute hepatitis.


Historian and biographer Elaine Dundy writes about Elvis Aron Presley’s Jewish heritage in her book “Elvis and Gladys.

A look at the nomination of Elvis for the Jewish-American Hall of Fame yields the following information . . . Source

“…Nancy Burdine was married to Abner Tackett (Elvis’ great great maternal grandmother). Nancy was of particular interest to Gladys for her Jewish heritage, often remembering Nancy’s sons for their Jewish names Sidney and Jerome. Nancy and Abner had a daughter Martha who married White Mansell. The daughter which they named Octavia, nick-named Doll, who was Elvis’ maternal grandmother.”
“…Doll and Robert had nine children. Gladys Love was the fifth daughter born followed by 3 more brothers and one sister. After his mother died, Elvis personally sought to design his beloved mother’s gravesite which included a Star of David on Gladys Love Presley’s tombstone. The decision was made by him in honor of his Jewish heritage. Something his mother was proud of and acknowledged to Elvis at a very early age.
So Elvis’s great great maternal grandmother was Jewish and had a daughter who had a daughter who had a daughter that was Elvis’s mother. Source

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Gladys Presley's Timeline

April 25, 1912
Tupelo, Pontotoc, Mississippi, United States
January 8, 1935
Tupelo, Lee County, Mississippi, United States
January 8, 1935
Tupelo, Lee County, Mississippi, United States
Age 22
R, Lee, Mississippi
April 1, 1940
Age 27
Lee, Mississippi, United States
Age 27
Beat 3, Beat 3, Lee, Mississippi, USA
August 14, 1958
Age 46
Methodist Hospital, Memphis, Shelby, TN, United States
August 16, 1958
Age 46
Graceland, Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, United States