Colonel Tom Parker Net Worth

In the early 80s, a judge ruled that Parker’s management of Presley had been unethical, following an investigation. Among other things, he influenced Presley’s decisions to marry Priscilla and accept the military draft, and facilitated Presley’s rise to superstardom in the 50s. Tom Colonel Parker was best known for being Presley’s manager. At the time of his death in 1997, Parker, a Dutch-American musical entrepreneur and talent manager, had a net worth of $1 million.

Career Beginnings

Tommy Sands and Arnold Eddy started their careers as singers, but Tommy also served as a field agent for the Hillsborough County Humane Society, raising awareness and funds for their cause. During this time, he also worked as a promoter in the music industry. After working as a carnie for the American Royal Shows from 1931 to 1938, Parker returned to the carnival scene after being discharged.

Elvis Presley in the 50s

1955, Bob Neal, the original official manager of up-and-coming young singer Elvis Presley, began promoting him in Memphis and on radio personality Bob Neal’s show “The Berle Milton and Ed Sullivan Show,” two popular television programs. To further boost his profile, Parker arranged for Presley to appear on these shows, as well as signing a merchandising deal with Saperstein Hank to fully commoditize the young singer. With the release of his first single “Heartbreak Hotel” for RCA Victor, Presley was launched into superstardom in 1956. However, Neal chose not to renew his management contract with Parker, leaving Presley as the sole singer. Soon after, Presley secured a record deal with RCA Victor. Parker was the most involved manager in Presley’s career, and played a crucial role in his rise to fame.

In the public view, Parker was anxious that Presley would decline as he did everything possible to maintain the singer’s name on everyone’s minds. With Presley serving in West Germany, Parker persuaded him to proceed with his conscription as an ordinary citizen, believing that serving in the Army would help resolve Presley’s increasing rebelliousness. In 1958, Presley received his conscription notice from the US Army and subsequently appeared in “Loving You,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “King Creole.” He proceeded to star in “Love Me Tender,” which generated his self-titled popular song, fulfilling Presley’s aspiration to act in movies. Parker managed to secure him a seven-film agreement with Paramount Pictures.

Elvis PRESLEY, with manager Colonel Tom

(Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns).

Early Life

Parker Tom Colonel was born as Cornelis Andreas van Kuijk in Breda, Netherlands, on June 1909. Growing up in his hometown, he worked as a carnival barker. After a few years, he moved to Rotterdam, where he worked on boats for a few years before illegally entering the United States by jumping ship from his employer’s boat. He then returned to the Netherlands before going back to the US at the age of 19.

Military Service

After returning to America, Parker enlisted in the US Army shortly. He adopted the name Tom Parker, which was the name of the officer who interviewed him. He was an illegal immigrant and wanted to hide his true identity. He served in the 64th Coast Artillery at Fort Shafter in Hawaii for two years. Then, he re-enlisted at Fort Barrancas in Florida. However, he was charged with desertion and went AWOL after his re-enlistment. As a result, he was sent to solitary confinement. Eventually, Parker was discharged from the Army, which led him to a brief stay at a mental ward due to the psychosis he suffered from.

Elvis Presley in the 60s and 70s

Priscilla Beaulieu, who had been living with Presley for four years, married him to tame his wild impulses and to gain new publicity for Presley’s stagnating career, as the British Invasion began. Meanwhile, Presley complained about the quality of the scripts for his films, although he went on to star in 27 films during the decade, including “Change of Habit,” “Clambake,” “Blue Hawaii,” “Viva Las Vegas,” “Paradise, Hawaiian Style,” “G.I. Blues,” and “Wild in the Country.” During this time, Parker secured long-term deals with film studios for Presley. In 1968, Presley suspended his live performances and subsequently performed at three charity events. Upon his return from the Army, Presley appeared on Frank Sinatra’s television show.

In 1977, Elvis Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, remained with him until his passing. Over the ensuing years, Presley saw Parker infrequently as he became increasingly reliant on prescription drugs. As a result, Presley’s career declined drastically. Following this, one of Presley’s greatest coups was the worldwide broadcast of his concert in Hawaii, known as “Aloha from Hawaii.” In 1973, Parker managed a highly successful series of tours, and then he successfully managed Presley’s return to performing live with several dates set up in Las Vegas. Additionally, Parker starred with Presley in a special television program on NBC, which renewed Presley’s fame.

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Post-Elvis

After the passing of Parker Presley, who worked to estimate the cost of maintaining Presley’s estate at around $500,000 per year, he also established a licensing deal to control the singer’s merchandise, among other factors.

In the early 80s, an investigation was launched into the management of Parker by Attorney Blanchard, determining that Parker’s handling of Presley’s business affairs was settled in court and out of the estate. Additionally, it was determined that Parker’s deal, which involved taking 50% of the singer’s profits, was considered extortionate compared to the industry standard of closer to 15-20%.

Loss of Wealth

During his lifetime, Colonel Tom Parker allegedly accumulated up to $30 million in gambling obligations on different occasions. Allegedly, he possessed less than $1 million at the moment of his demise, even though he earned over $100 million. Moreover, he squandered a significant portion of Elvis’ personal fortune. Taking into account his immense accomplishments and popularity, his net worth stood at a relatively modest $5 million when Elvis passed away.

Personal Life and Death

Marie Francis Mott married Parker during their time in the circus in 1935. Prior to Parker’s rise in the field of administration, the couple collaborated at carnivals in the early stages. Parker separated from Marie Francis Mott and sought solace in gambling when she began displaying symptoms of dementia in the 60s. Mott passed away in late 1986 at the age of 78. In 1990, Parker tied the knot with his dedicated secretary, Loanne Miller.

In early 1997, at 87 years old, he died from a stroke in Las Vegas. By his last public appearances in 1994, Parker was experiencing various health issues including gout and diabetes.