Elvis Presley Had a Dream Career Outside of Singing
Elvis Presley was a lot of things over the course of his decades-long career. According to his fans, he was the king of rock and roll. To his music industry colleagues, few were as accomplished as him, winning numerous Grammy awards (including earning a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award when he was only in his mid-30s) and breaking records for the most top-performing albums ever on the Billboard charts.
While his musical career is what the world focuses on, there’s one shocking fact about Elvis’ star-studded career: In an alternate life, Elvis says he might never have been a rock-and-roll celebrity.
Elvis Presley was fascinated by guns and law enforcement
Sandwiched between the release of his King Creole album and his Elvis is Back! album, Presley served in the U.S. Army from March 1958 to March 1960. But this was hardly the only instance where Presley’s time and energy was devoted to guns and law enforcement. In fact, the king of rock and roll was also the king of collecting police memorabilia and guns.
In fact, according to the Smithsonian, Presley once spent more than $100,000 on handguns for Christmas presents. He also loved to collect police and law enforcement items, and maintained an extensive collection of police badges.
The Smithsonian reports that Presley was so obsessed, he once wrote to President Richard Nixon. Presley volunteered his celebrity status and endorsements if Nixon would give him a Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs officer badge.
The king traveled to Washington, DC, with his collection of police badges and guns, met with Nixon, and got his wish: A federal badge. However, this obsession was more than just about collecting police memorabilia.
The King wanted to be a police officer
Before he was wooing millions of fans on stage, Presley dreamed about being a police officer.
“If Elvis Presley had not grown up to be the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, there’s a chance he would have been a police officer, such was his deep respect for law enforcement,” reports Australia’s Official Elvis Presley Fan Club. “As a youngster, Presley wanted to grow up to be a policeman, according to press accounts in the ’70s.”
And one retired deputy police chief, Denver’s Robert Cantwell, agreed. “He always thought he would become a police officer,” the late Cantwell told Colorado Public Radio back in 1977. However, Presley told Cantwell that his childhood career dreams changed because “God blessed him with a voice.”
But in a twist of surprising fate, Presley got his wish.
Elvis Presley actually became a police officer before he died
According to Cantwell’s book The Elvis Presley I Knew, as reported by the Elvis Presley Fan Club, Presley grew so close to the Denver police force that he was named an honorary captain of the force.
“The Denver police even gave Elvis a Denver police captain’s uniform, which Elvis wore as a disguise,” reports the historians at the Denver Public Library. When Presley passed away, the Denver police force even broadcast news of his death on their police radio network.
And that’s not all. The fan club also points out that Presley was named an honorary chief deputy by the Memphis sheriff’s department, and the National Security Archive reports that Nixon named Presley a federal agent at large.
Leave it to Presley to achieve both of his dream careers. The King was quite the character.