The Reader’s Notebook: Gladys Presley
Born Gladys Love Smith on April 25, 1912, Gladys Presley grew up worlds away from the fame and riches that her son would one day achieve. The daughter of a cotton farmer, she came of age in Mississippi.
In the 1930s, Gladys fatefully met Vernon Presley at church. Though she was four years older than him — and Vernon, at 17, was underage — they lied about their ages in order to get married in 1933. Soon, Gladys was pregnant.
But when it came time for her to give birth on January 8, 1935, tragedy struck. Gladys had twins, but the first boy, Jesse Garon Presley, was stillborn. Only the second boy, Elvis Aaron Presley, survived.