—————-GLADYS PRESLEY—————-

Elvis Presley may be remembered as a rocker with a penchant for Baptist hymnals, but the King also had major Jewish lineage. According to a biography, “Elvis and Gladys”, the Memphis musician was Jewish through matrilineal descent. And, he was proud of it.

In Elaine Dundy’s 1995 book “Elvis and Gladys” she wrote about the singer’s relationship with his mother, Gladys Love Smith. Gladys’ maternal grandmother was Martha Tacket, also Jewish.

According to the book, Elvis knew about his Jewish lineage, but his parents told him to keep it quiet, fearing an anti-Semitic backlash in the 1940’s Mississippi. Nevertheless, Elvis was known to wear a Chai necklace for good luck and carried a yarmulke in his jacket pocket.

He buried his mother under a gravestone engraved with both a crucifix and a Star of David. “After his mother died, Elvis personally designed his beloved mother’s gravesite, which included a Star of David onGladys Love Presley’s tombstone,” Dundee wrote in her book. “He made the decision to honor his Jewish heritage, something his mother was proud of and acknowledged her Jewish heritage to Elvis at a very early age.”

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