Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The King

Long ago, a small child was born in humble surroundings to a young and impoverished couple. Although his childhood wasn’t much different than most, there were signs of greatness, even at an early age.

Although he died too young, he is known by almost everyone in the world, and he continues to influence people everywhere, even today.

If your mind is starting to think of images of a manger and Wise Men and a star in the heavens, let me set the record straight.

The subject of this article wasn’t born in Bethlehem. He was born about 1000 miles south of there, and he wasn’t born on December 25th. He was actually born on January 8th, which would officially be the 14th Day of Christmas, if we counted that high.

The humble surroundings that he was born in look like this:

The house he was born in (known as a “shotgun house”) was built by his father in preparation for his birth, and the birth of his twin brother (who was born stillborn). His father had difficulty keeping jobs, and the family frequently relied on neighbors and the government for assistance. When the young child was 3, his father was found guilty of altering a check written by a landowner, which caused the family to lose their home after the father was jailed for eight months. To survive, the young man and his mother moved in with relatives.

The young man eventually found his calling, and when he made his first public appearance, he looked like this:

Over time, he did very well financially, which gave him an opportunity to buy a home that was MUCH larger than the home he was born in:

After his death, his home was declared a National Historic Landmark, and it is one of the most visited private homes in America.

Elvis Aaron Presley died on August 16, 1977, in the home that he had purchased in 1957. In spite of the fact that he has now been dead for nearly 40 years, his estate earned $55,000,000 in 2012.

To put that number in perspective, you need to be aware of the fact that the median household income in America is $50,500. In the entire country, there were exactly 81 people who made more than $50,000,000 a year in 2010, which makes his humble beginning all the more remarkable.

At some point in his career, he was dubbed “the King of Rock and Roll”. Even today, he remains the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music.

The King is dead.

Long live the King.

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