What Happened To Elvis Presley's Twin Brother?

June 2022 marks the release of the Elvis Presley biopic, simply titled "Elvis." The film explores the musical influences that Presley had as a child, the lead up to his meeting with the man who would become his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, and their tumultuous relationship that intertwined with Presley's enormous fame that followed. Given that countless biographies have been written and countless documentaries have been produced in the over 40 years since Presley's devastating death in 1977, it seems like not much is left unknown about the late King of Rock and Roll. However, he continues to captivate fans and make them curious about his life behind the sequined jumpsuits.

Presley had a close relationship with his parents, particularly his mother Gladys Presley. In the biography "From Elvis to Memphis," author Eric Wolfson explained that his mother may have been the person he loved even more than any of his girlfriends, a sentiment echoed by Presley's wife Priscilla Presley

Elvis Presley's family was poor during his childhood

ELvis Presley did not grow up in a lavish home like the Graceland mansion that he eventually purchased after gaining fame. His father Vernon Presley worked pretty much any job he could to support his family in the 1930s, stating that, "there was almost nobody poorer than my wife Gladys and me" (via All That's Interesting). Unfortunately, Vernon spent some time separated from the family in the late 1930s after being arrested for check forgery. He sold a hog, but the buyer underpaid him. After he changed the amount on the check, he got caught and spent eight months in jail. This obviously did not help the Presley family's financial situation. Gladys and Elvis had to move in with relatives during those months.

After Elvis was born in 1935, the three of them regularly attended church services that included the gospel music with which Elvis fell in love. Vernon and Gladys were both supportive of Elvis's burgeoning interest in music as he grew up. Though Elvis was devastated when Gladys passed away in 1958 due to liver problems and hepatitis, Graceland states that Vernon stayed close with Elvis throughout his career, even helping with Elvis's earnings and regularly spending time on tour with him. But there is more to Elvis's family tree than his parents. Tragedy struck on the same day that Elvis was born.

Elvis's twin has been the subject of conspiracy theories

One lesser-known reason for Elvis Presley's closeness with his parents had to do with his identical twin brother. Presley had a twin brother named Jesse Garon Presley, who died at birth. In "Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley," biographer Peter Guralnick claimed that Gladys Presley said "when one twin died, the one that lived got all the strength of both." The loss of Jesse essentially strengthened the bond of the young family (per Cheatsheet). Vernon Presley felt that God intended for Elvis to be "the only child we'd ever need" (via ATI).

Despite the fact that Jesse died at birth, he has been the subject of conspiracy theories perpetuated by fans. One theory holds that Jesse did not die at birth, but has been used as a body double to stand in for Elvis at various appearances. For example, in footage from a 1970 interview, fans have pointed out inconsistencies with Elvis's eye color and mannerisms to support their theory that Jesse was actually doing the interview instead of Elvis.

There is a memorial to Jesse at Graceland

Conspiracy theorists also use the incorrect date on Jesse Garon Presley's death certificate as more proof that he did not die at birth. The certificate states his date of death as January 7th, 1935 when he and Elvis Presley were actually born on January 8th. The theorists believe the incorrect date to be the result of a cover-up to hide the fact that Jesse lived into adulthood.

This is hardly the only strange conspiracy theory that has followed Elvis since he first rose to fame in the 1950s. Just like the theories surrounding Tupac and Michael Jackson, many believe that Presley is still alive, or at least did not die in 1977. There is even a Facebook group with over 30,000 followers dedicated to proving this. The theory about Jesse is a common topic of discussion within the group as well.

Conspiracies, aside, Find a Grave reports that Jesse was buried in a shoe box next to his uncle in Tupelo, Mississippi, the Presleys' hometown. In Graceland, Jesse has a cenotaph next to Elvis's grave. Their parents Gladys and Vernon, grandmother Minnie Mae, and Elvis's grandson Benjamin (son of Lisa Marie Presley) are also buried at Graceland (per ABC News). Elvis's living relatives include his only child Lisa Marie Presley and her remaining children actress Riley Keough and twins Harper and Finley Lockwood.