Colonel Tom Parker Net Worth At Death
Colonel Tom Parker had an estimated net worth of $1 Million at death. He managed Elvis Presley’s career, turning the singer into one of the first rock superstars. He earned the majority of his income as Elvis’ manager.
Colonel Tom Parker oversaw almost every aspect of Elvis Presley’s life and career from 1955 to 1977. He was a shrewd, showman-like figure who learned how to sell an act by working for carnivals; he frequently referred to Presley as “my attraction.”
He realized early on that Presley’s fame would fade quickly after his teen phenomenon days. Parker carefully managed Presley’s entry into the Army, oversaw his Hollywood film deals, and later shaped his comeback in Las Vegas to build a longer-lasting career. Despite the fact that the two were close for many years, Parker is a contentious figure in the Elvis Presley story. According to a legal investigation, he benefited significantly from his client’s income, taking a 50 percent commission at times. Fans and observers believe Presley did not tour internationally because Parker, an illegal immigrant from the Netherlands, lacked a passport and never became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
“Whether regarded as a meretricious and evil confidence man, or as a brilliant marketer and strategist, as remarkable as the star he managed, no figure in all of entertainment is more controversial, colorful, or larger than life than Tom Parker,” writes biographer Alanna Nash in her book, The Colonel.
To calculate the net worth of Colonel Tom Parker, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as loans and personal debt, are included in total liabilities.
Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:
|Name:||Colonel Tom Parker|
|Net Worth:||$1 Million|
|Monthly Salary:||$10 Thousand+|
|Annual Income:||$100 Thousand+|
|Source of Wealth:||Elvis’ manager|
Mysterious Early Life
Colonel Tom Parker was born on June 26, 1909, in Breda, Netherlands, as Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk. Parker claimed to be from Huntington, West Virginia, but his true origins were revealed when family members in the Netherlands saw a news photo of him with Elvis Presley.
As a gifted storyteller, he sought odd jobs, including one with a local circus, where he assisted in horse training. He told his family as a teenager that he had gotten a job as a sailor on the Holland America Line. Whether true or false, he left Breda and made his way to the United States via Canada, he once told a friend.
He met a Dutch family in Hoboken, New Jersey, but he soon vanished, just as he would from his biological family. It’s unclear why he changed his name to Thomas Parker, but family and friends speculate that he met someone with the name along the way.
Parker found work with a booking agent in 1926, then returned to the Netherlands for a short time. He left again in 1929 and returned to the United States, where he worked with carnivals, served in the United States Army, and later became a country music promoter.
Was Colonel Tom Parker Really a Colonel?
In 1948, Louisiana governor Jimmie Davis promoted Parker to colonel in the Louisiana State Militia. The state had no organized militia, so Parker was given the honorary title in exchange for his efforts on Davis’ campaign.
Parker did, however, serve two years in the United States Army at Fort Shafter in Hawaii. He re-enlisted after his tour ended in 1931, but deserted in 1932. He was punished for going AWOL with solitary confinement, during which he had a psychotic breakdown. Doctors transferred him to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and he was discharged from the Army at the age of 24 in 1933.
Did Colonel Tom Parker Murder Someone?
Parker abruptly left the Netherlands in 1929, and though he informed his family that he was safe, he later stopped communicating with them. One theory arose when a Dutch journalist received information linking Parker, by his real name, to an unsolved murder in Breda. In 1929, the 23-year-old wife of a grocer was murdered in what appeared to be a robbery.
According to Nash, the police investigation at the time was lacking in details and did not include evidence linking Parker to the crime, and several circumstances “make it impossible not to speculate that Colonel Tom Parker in fact may have gotten away with murder.”
Did the Colonel Defraud Elvis Financially?
When Elvis Presley died in 1977, his father, Vernon Presley, took over as executor of his estate but asked Parker to continue in charge. When Vernon died in 1979, a probate judge who looked into the case was astounded to learn of Parker’s arrangement, which gave him half of Presley’s earnings even after the star’s death. Blanchard Tual, a Memphis lawyer, was appointed by the judge to investigate and act as Lisa Marie Presley’s legal protector when she was 12 years old.
According to Nash, Tual’s report cited music industry experts who accused Parker of “self-dealing and overreaching.” Tual discovered that his 50 percent cut from Presley’s earnings was out of line with industry norms, noting that a commission of 10 percent to 15 percent of a star’s earnings was standard for personal managers.
According to Nash, rumors about the arrangement had previously circulated, and in 1968, a journalist asked Parker, “Is it true that you take fifty percent of everything Elvis earns?” “That’s not true at all,” Parker responded. “He takes half of everything I earn.”
Parker’s reasoning is illuminated by the response. He had no other clients; Presley’s career was Parker’s life’s work, which was substantial, especially during Presley’s drug-addicted years. “The Colonel spent many more hours playing the Elvis trade than Elvis did,” Nash writes.
Tual’s report revealed the extent of Parker’s wealth. Tual estimated in 1980 that Parker had defrauded the Presley estate of $7 million to $8 million in the previous three years. Tual also cited poor management: Parker had never registered Presley with BMI, a music rights management organization. As a result, the 33 songs for which Presley is credited earned him no songwriting royalties.
Parker’s 1973 agreement allowing RCA to buy out the rights to Presley’s 700 songs was among the most damning evidence. Parker received $6.2 million over seven years as part of the agreement. Presley was awarded $4.6 million.
Parker was sued by the estate in 1982 for contract exploitation and exploitation for personal gain. That year, an out-of-court settlement was reached, and the case was finally settled in 1983.
Colonel Tom Parker’s House
Parker purchased a home in Madison, Tennessee, in 1953, where Presley would visit and stay while recording. Following Parker’s death in 1997, the house was converted into a law office. When the house was about to be demolished for a car wash in 2017, music historian and collector Brian Oxley bought the rights to the interior. Items like wall paneling and countertops were disassembled and placed in numbered boxes to be reassembled later.
Parker suffered a stroke in January 1997 and died the next day in a Las Vegas hospital at the age of 87.
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