Elvis Presley: The Person Behind the Name of the King’s Memphis Home, Graceland

Elvis Presley‘s Graceland has become synonymous with the King of Rock and Roll. The entertainer’s beloved home, located in Memphis, Tennessee, has become a mecca for music fans worldwide. The residence is where admirers can see the way Presley lived, get up close to some of the most famous artifacts from his life, and pay their respects at his grave in The Meditation Garden. However, Presley was not the person responsible for the now-iconic name of the property. That honor goes to someone outside of Presley’s inner circle.

Elvis Presley outside his Graceland mansion in Memphis, TN.
Elvis Presley outside his Graceland mansion in Memphis, TN | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

When did Elvis Presley purchase Graceland?

Elvis Presley purchased Graceland in March of 1957 at the age of 22. He bought the home and adjacent grounds for $102,500 per the home’s official website.

When he made the purchase, Presley was busy working on his second motion picture, Loving You. He placed a $1,000 deposit down as collateral.

Graceland was the second home Presley purchased for his parents, Vernon and Gladys. The first was a home located on Audubon Avenue in East Memphis. However, as Presley’s star grew, that home, unprotected from onlookers, became a mecca for the superstar’s fans.

Presley wanted something more private, and he found that with Graceland, which allowed the entertainer to retreat from the public eye.

The famous music gates were not on the property when Presley purchased Graceland. They were set in place in April 1957 to keep Presley’s fans at bay.

On May 16, 1957, his parents and grandmother moved in while Elvis continued to film “Jailhouse Rock.”

Presley did not officially move into the property until June of that same year.

Was Elvis Presley the person who gave the property the name Graceland?

Elvis Presley poses in front of Graceland in a black and white image.
Elvis Presley | Getty Images

Elvis Presley was not the person who named Graceland.

According to the property’s official website, that honor went to the family of S.E. Toof.

In 1939, Grace’s niece, Ruth Brown Moore, and her husband, Dr. Thomas Moore, built the mansion. For generations, the land had been part of the family and named after Dr. Moore’s Aunt Grace Toof.

Dr. Moore was a professor of Urology at the University of Tennessee.

Graceland has a long musical history.

Mr. and Mrs. Moore’s daughter, Ruth Marie, was a harpist with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and the family held classical musical recitals in the formal rooms of the home.

Who did Elvis Presley live at Graceland with?

Priscilla Presley poses in front of Graceland in 1982.
Priscilla Presley | Getty Images/Ron Galella

When Presley first purchased the property, he lived at Graceland with his father Vernon, mother Gladys, and Grandmother Minnie Mae.

Several family members lived at Graceland over the years, including Elvis’ aunt, Delta Presley Biggs, Vernon’s sister.

Aunt Delta still lived at Graceland when it opened for tours. She resided there until she died in 1993.

Presley also shared the home with wife Priscilla, daughter Lisa Marie, girlfriend Linda Thompson, and his friends and hangers-on called “The Memphis Mafia.”

Graceland originally had an address of Highway 51. The street was later renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard in 1971.

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