Elvis Presley: Linda Thompson recalls in 2019 calling Graceland
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Elvis Presley was well-known for his lavish generosity during his lifetime. From being a big charitable giver to gifting many cars and houses to his friends and family, The King loved to share his wealth. And now his former girlfriend Linda Thompson has posted a throwback interview of herself, in which she tells a story of Elvis’ generosity from his impoverished childhood in Mississippi.
Linda Thompson, who dated Elvis Presley from 1972-76 said: “It almost got to be second nature with him, it was just a facet of his character.
“Like drinking a lot of water or whatever, it was just a part of his nature.
“And it was really astounding if you just sat back and pondered for a few moments the extent of his generosity. It was incredible.”
She then told a touching story The King once shared with her from his youth.
Linda said: “It began…he told me this story and I think it’s really sweet little story…when he was nine-years-old, he said that he got saved in the Christian sense.
“They were very, very poor in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis’ family. He said he was dirt poor.
“And he was suddenly filled with this wonderful spirit. And all he had in the world were comic books.”
So little Elvis got all his comics together and ran out into the street where he started giving away his prized possessions to the children in his neighbourhood.
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Linda added: “And I thought, ‘What a really sweet story’ because that generosity never stopped. That spirit of giving stayed with him throughout his life.”
Last year, Express.co.uk spoke with an Elvis historian who believes The King’s generosity was inspired by a little-known relative of his called Noah Presley.
We spoke with Sally A Hoedel, the author of Elvis: Destined To Die Young, who interviewed many people who knew The King personally including a cousin called Larry Presley.
He is the son of Elvis’ great-uncle Noah Presley, who lived in Tupelo, Mississippi with much of the family and even became mayor of East Tupelo in 1936, a year after Elvis was born.
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Sally said: “Noah owned a little grocery store and he gave free food to Gladys and Elvis while Vernon was in prison and continued to treat Elvis with that kind of kindness.”
Elvis’ father had gone to prison in 1938 after being arrested a year earlier for forging a cheque, spending almost a year behind bars.
The historian said: “[Noah] had a school bus and would drive all the kids in Tupelo to the Memphis zoo once a year. He did things like that all the time.
“He’s the one who drives Gladys and Elvis to the penitentiary to visit Vernon.”
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Such acts of kindness were remembered by Elvis as he grew older, with the author arguing that Noah was a big influence on The King’s heart for giving.
She said: “I do strongly believe that Noah Presley is why Elvis was so generous.
“It’s why Elvis gives so much of his wealth away whenever he has a chance. I believe he learned that from Noah Presley.
“I think that hasn’t totally been captured before and that I was lucky enough to talk to Noah’s son. So that was really incredible [to discover].”
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