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Elvis Presley liked meeting with powerful and influential figures, including the president, sheriffs, and other political figures. He once had the chance to meet President Gerald Ford’s daughter, Susan Ford, but he refused. Elvis felt Susan had wronged him and didn’t want anything to do with her.

Elvis Presley refused to meet with the president’s daughter

In the 1970s, Elvis took a party of 18 people to Denver for a ski trip. He had been playing many shows, and everyone in his entourage was exhausted. Elvis thought the trip would be a good break for the group. 

Elvis celebrated his 41st birthday with his ground of generally disgruntled friends and employees. During the day, they took skiing lessons while Elvis slept. At night, Elvis emerged from his room in a snowsuit and goggles. He rented a snowmobile and drove it around the ski slopes. 

A photo of Elvis Presley's red snowmobile.
Elvis’ snowmobile | Chris Farina/Corbis via Getty Images

This provoked the ire of Susan Ford. While she had wanted to meet with Elvis, she ruined her chances by writing a letter to the local newspaper. Per the book Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick, she complained about the special treatment the ski resort was giving Elvis by letting him drive the snowmobile around the slopes at night. 

When Elvis learned about this letter, he refused to meet with Susan Ford that week or in the future.

The ski trip did not go well for Elvis’ entourage

This was likely a disappointment to Susan Ford. This seemed to be the common thread of this ski trip; many of Elvis’ closest confidants walked away from it feeling fed up with their situation. 

“I finally said, ‘Fine, you go ahead — but I ain’t moving from my room,” his friend Joe Esposito told him before the trip. “I’m sleeping for 24 hours. I’ll meet you there.’ He wasn’t sleeping at all at this point — just going, going, going, wired to the wall. Everybody was fed up with just traveling, moving — it just wasn’t any fun. It was like he was driving people away.”

When the rental period in their first lodging was up, Elvis decided he wanted to stay for longer. His friend Jerry Schilling worked tirelessly to find them a new place to stay, but once he did, Elvis decided he wanted to change things up again. He told Schilling he wanted to switch houses with him. 

A fed-up and exhausted Schilling told Elvis that he was going to bed. In the morning, he planned to go home.

“There was no reason for me to stay,” Schilling said. “He was tired, everybody was tired — he just didn’t want a lot of resistance.”

Elvis met with President Gerald Ford’s predecessor

Though Elvis shut down a chance of meeting with Susan Ford, he had made an effort to meet with Ford’s predecessor, Richard Nixon. In 1970, Elvis took a surprise visit to Washington D.C., where he requested to meet with the president. 

President Nixon and Elvis Presley shake hands in front of flags.
Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley | National Archives

Though the visit was unplanned, Nixon agreed. Elvis met him at the White House that same day. There, he offered his services as a narcotics agent and warned Nixon about the dangers of The Beatles