40 Years After Elvis Presley’s Death, A Doctor May Have Discovered What Really Killed The King

It’s now more than 40 years since arguably the world’s most famous singer passed away. On August 16, 1977, at the age of just 42, Elvis Presley was pronounced dead at his Graceland home in Memphis, Tennessee. And although the cause of death was given as cardiac arrhythmia, some insist there was more to his death than met the eye. But now one doctor has proposed a shocking new theory about what caused the King to breathe his last on that fateful summer’s day.

By the time Elvis Presley performed his infamous Aloha From Hawaii concert in 1973, the one that cemented his image as a crooning, jumpsuit-wearing mother’s favourite, his health was already deteriorating. Twice during 1973 the star had suffered an overdose (despite his earlier hatred for drugs, by now the King was in the grips of a dangerous addiction) and by the end of the year his drug abuse had seen him confined to the hospital. On one occasion, he spent three days in a coma. Things weren’t looking good.

So where was he getting these drugs, the same ones he’d hated so much back in 1970 that he’d called in on President Nixon to discuss how to prevent their use? Enter George Nichopoulos or Dr. Nick, Presley’s physician for more than ten years. Dr. Nick was the man who’d been prescribing Elvis his own personal concoction of uppers and downers, depressants and stimulants.

In 1995 Dr. Nick was stripped of his medical license after admitting overprescribing drugs to his patients. But in a subsequent interview with The Guardian, the physician claimed that the decision to revoke his license had its roots in Elvis’ death. In the interview, Dr. Nick said he did the things he did because he “cared too much.” But when the autopsy into the King’s death was reopened in 1994, coroner Joseph Davis found no evidence to suggest that drugs were involved.

However, Presley was in terrible health when he died. In a toxicology report following his death he tested positive for ten different prescription medicines. He weighed around 350 pounds and had been in and out of hospital for some time, requiring near-permanent care. Tragically, towards the end of his life he could barely play a proper gig, yet he still refused to stop his relentless touring.