16.08.

1977: Elvis Presley Dies

1977: Elvis Presley Dies
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/Presley meets U.S. President Richard Nixon in the White House Oval Office, December 21, 1970

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 16 August 1977
  • Elvis Presley died on this day in 1977. The cause of his death remains unknown to this day, but is usually thought to have been a heart attack or anaphylactic shock. Either could have been caused by excessive consumption of drugs; autopsy results showed traces of 14 different drugs in Elvis’s body.

On this day, Elvis Presley, called the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, died aged 43 at home in Graceland Mansion, Tennessee.

He was found dead on the floor of his bathroom, and all attempts to revive him failed. The cause of his death remains unknown to this day, but is usually thought to have been a heart attack or anaphylactic shock.

Either could have been caused by excessive consumption of drugs; autopsy results showed traces of 14 different drugs in Elvis’s body. Ten of them were present in excessive amounts.

There were several incidents when he was found in a nigh-comatose state after overdosing. Even his appearance had changed so drastically that he became unrecognizable.

At some concerts he was so heavily drugged that he became almost unintelligible, and on stage he hardly moved at all. Presley’s head physician, Dr Nichopoulos, allegedly prescribed him over 10 000 doses of sedatives and amphetamines, which comes to almost 42 doses per day.

Amphetamines were originally legal in the USA, and were used to suppress a person’s appetite. Codeine was especially dangerous for Elvis because he had a mild allergic reaction to it (but kept taking it anyway).

Dr Nichopoulos was placed under investigation after Elvis’s death. He was found not guilty of killing Elvis, but still had his medical license revoked for three months.

Later, in the 90s, he was again accused of overdosing his patients, but this time his medical license was revoked permanently.

 

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