Aunt Delta

Do you know how many members of Elvis’ family lived at Graceland with him?  There are some easy answers like Priscilla and Lisa Marie, and of course, his mother and father, Gladys and Vernon.  Knowledgeable Elvis fans will also know that Vernon’s mother, Minnie Mae, lived with them, too.  In fact, Elvis’ grandmother had lived with them going back to the Tupelo days.  After divorcing her husband in 1946, Minnie Mae soon moved in with Vernon, Gladys and young Elvis.

Minnie Mae moved into Graceland with the rest of the family in 1957, and she stayed there until her death in 1980 at age eighty-seven.  Originally, her bedroom was a former maid’s quarters.  After Elvis returned from the Army, and Vernon moved to a near-by house of his own, Minnie Mae moved into what had been Elvis’ parents’ bedroom.

Only the really dedicated Elvis fans will know the name of the other Presley family member that lived in Graceland.  One of Vernon’s three sisters was named Delta Mae.  When her husband died in 1966, she moved into Graceland, sharing the room with her mom, Minnie Mae.

Elvis’ Aunt Delta


Because Elvis called her Aunt Delta, soon all the other people in his circle called her that, too.  After Elvis died in 1977, the estate permitted her to live in Graceland.  Even after public tours started in 1982, Aunt Delta’s bedroom and the kitchen were excluded in order to accommodate her.  She lived until 1993, passing away at the age of seventy-four.  Two years later, her room was converted back to resemble the way it was as Elvis’ parents bedroom, and it and the kitchen were added to the Graceland tour.

Aunt Delta’s Room, Now Converted Back to Elvis’ Parents Bedroom for the Graceland Tour

Aunt Delta liked to drink a lot and was notorious for her bad temper.  Which brings us to a delightful Aunt Delta story I recently discovered.  It comes from a website called, so I can’t vouch for its accuracy, but it sure is funny.

Let’s go back to Christmas, 1975.  Elvis decided to do something different.  Instead of giving his buddies their Christmas presents at Graceland, he got everyone transported over to the airport and boarded on to his private jet, the Lisa Marie.  Then, they had a big airborne Christmas party, and of course liquor was served.  Aunt Delta was aboard, and the cocktail glass in her hand saw plenty of action.

By the time Elvis started passing out jewelry gifts to his posse, Aunt Delta was getting into a nasty mood.  She suddenly yelled at one of them:

“You ain’t no damn friend of his!  And, I got a good mind to take the .38 I got in my purse and just shoot you dead!”  Then, she looked at another hanger-on and said, “And you ain’t worth a shit either, you wall-eyed son-of-a-bitch… All you sons of bitches are here for the same thing.  You just want his damn money!”



It is stories like this one about Aunt Delta that make writing about Elvis so much fun.  There just can’t be any other subject that could provide so much cool material.  Elvis, you had the most incredible life.

©  2009    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister   All Rights Reserved

21 responses to “Aunt Delta

  1. Hello Phil! I just wanted to say a Big Thank-You as I really enjoy Your Elvis Blog, It ROCKS!!! Hugs from an Elvis Fan in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

    • Hi Tracy: Thanks for the kind words. In relation to total national population, more Canadians read ElvisBlog than Americans.

      Phil Arnold, Original ElvisBlogmeister

  2. I read a great book written by a maid that worked for Elvis
    For 10 years. She was there the day he died and described
    What happened throughout the house that day. The book
    Is INSIDE GRACELAND by Nancy Rooks.

    • Hi Sharon: There are so many Elvis books out there, it’s nice to know a fan feels strongly about one.

      Phil Arnold, Original ElvisBlogmeister

  3. I think Elvis had his share of ankle biters,from his woman to friends to family. He himself said he was lonely. Why? Because he knew they wanted his money. Elvis knew nobody really knew him the man. I miss him. What a loss. If only he would have let the right people in his life. I listen to his songs every night,he was wonderful, but God took him to be with him. Elvis was tired and not loved, so we lost him

  4. The public only wanted to see Elvis not his Habits – he was and still is the most and best good looking and entertainment person I have seen in my 81 years – I went to his home in 1988 but wished I could have met him in my time – we are both the same age and true as they say when I left his home I had that feeling of him in my system which has not left me… I still watch his movies and everything that is on U-Tube….
    My daughter met Aunt Delta in 1992 and they both waved at each other therefore she was very friendly with the public just like Elvis…. It’s so sad that he went so young (42) I often wonder what he would be like today April 20th 2017…..What a beautiful profile he had….

  5. A bit off track ! But can someone tell me.
    The day Elvis passed away, there has been plenty written about the people who were there, eg. Ginger, the mafia team, Lisa.
    However his Nan and Aunt were there ( I think) but nothing has ever been written about them on that day.

  6. Aunt Deltas bedroom was off the kitchen, and never was where Elvis’s parents once slept.

    • Hi John: The information about Aunt Delta living in Gladys and Vernon’s old bedroom came from ELVIS – His Life from A to Z, a widely used reference source. Of course, folks have pointed out other small errors in it, so maybe this is another.

      Phil Arnold, Original ElvisBlogmeister

  7. It’s nothing wrong with speaking your mind.I know the feeling,why hide what u think.Sounds like some of Delta and Dodger rubbed off on Elvis.

  8. From all I have read, those guys were there because Elvis wanted them there. Period. They were paid very little so to say they were there for the money is just not true to facts. Elvis gave them things because he wanted to. He gave things to total strangers because he wanted to. Elvis was in control.

  9. You left out the part of how Elvis reacted to his aunts performance. He wanted her drunken ass thrown off the plane for embarrassing the “shit out of me”. He also included some remarks about sewing her blank up and throwing her over the wall.

    • Mt Gig: I published only what I found in various references. What is your source for this?

      Phil Arnold
      Original ElvisBlogmeister

  10. Well I think aunt delta her self. Was in for the good times. As well. Why was she living there it was all Vernon side of the family nor his mother side. I think was the scamers after a easy time. So aunt delta as they call her. Is no differant than the rest.

  11. That story just made my day! It totally cracked me up. Sounds like Aunt Delta was a very smart woman. I never liked most of his posse anyway.

  12. Aunt Delta was like my mom, she liked her booze and could see trouble before it starts.raising 5 boys who could never figure her out.she would speak her mind and put you in your place in a heartbeat.

  13. I spent almost 3 hours talking to ‘Aunt Delta’ one afternoon while visiting Graceland. She was sitting out by the garden. What great stories she told. She told it like she saw it. Suddenly she said she had to go fix dinner, gave me a hug, thanked me for the company, and disappeared into the house. That was 3 of the best hours I’ve ever had.

  14. I see this story is a few years old but I wanted to reply anyway I was at Graceland in 1991 His Aunt Delta lived there I have a picture of her sitting in a chair by his back door.. The kitchen tho was on the tour but not the bedroom…Anyway loved the story just wanted to let you know the kitchen was on the tour in 1991…

  15. Aunt Delta was not far off the mark. In fact she hit it dead-on. The vast majority of those guys were there just for the money and other hand outs. She was in a position to see what was going on, and her tongue became lose as she kept drinking.

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