For Elvis's era, he was comfortably over average height, frequently looking tall around his peers and even taller on stage with his superstar presence.
Yet he often wore high-heeled shoes, wore thick hair, and stood with an impeccable posture, making it easy for him to look taller than his real height.
A common question regarding his height is - was Elvis really 6 feet tall?
What to Believe?
With official army documentation, tailor measurements, and Elvis himself claiming 6 feet (182.8 cm) tall, it is hard to dismiss that he stood at, or very close to this height. Elvis was indeed 6 feet tall throughout the first part of the day, and dropped to 5'11.25" by bedtime. In this case we can take somewhere in-between as his height, and say that Elvis was 5'11.5" (181.6 cm) tall.
His Differing Measurements
Elvis's official Army measurements ranged from 5'11" to 6'", with the most common being 6".
Although not documented, there have also been reports of measurements over 6 feet, such as 6'0.5", and 6'1", that were most likely in his army boots (there are photos of him being measured in his boots). Army boots provide around an inch of height, which suggests variations of between 5'11.5" - 6" barefoot height.
This can be explained by the time of day this measurement occurred, as throughout the day our height varies, and from the time we wake up to the time we sleep the average person will lose around 0.75"-1" of height. So, if Elvis was measured in the morning then he could be nearer 6", and in the afternoon 5'11.5" with bare feet.
Part of a costume designer's profession is to be as accurate as possible with their measurements.
A costume designer once stated his height at 5'11.5". Also, when he was measured for his golden lamé suit he was measured at height in stocking feet (socks) at 6 feet.
Both measurements could be rounded up and down, and depending on what time of day it was they could both be accurate.
Drivers License Measurements
In his teens, Elvis's driver's license had his height as 5'11" 180.2 cm tall. However, into his 20's and 30's his license stated he was 6 feet tall. It is quite possible that he grew between his late teens and early 20's, and even half an inch could make the difference between the 5'11" and 6" listings.
It could also mean that with fame came an increasing need to lie about height, and with 6 feet being a "magic" number, it makes sense he would claim this.
How Tall Was he Measured at His Death?
As far as I'm aware there are no measurements of him at his death. However, at age 42 it is unlikely he would have lost a significant amount of height, but when we take into consideration his weight gain, it is entirely possible. Although his weight was generally around the 160-70 pound mark throughout his career, at the time of death he was estimated to weigh around 350 pounds.
Elvis was heavily overweight during his final years, and even more so during the months leading to his death. Due to a slumped posture and spinal compression he may have stood slightly shorter than he did in his 20's, possibly between 1/4 and 1/2 an inch is possible.
We are however listing peak height on this page, and this is merely speculation.
Commonly, entertainers wore lifts to help them seem taller on stage. It was common for Elvis to wear 2'' heels on stage, and he has also been pictured wearing them off stage.
This photo with 5'10.75" (179.7 cm) Richard Nixon falls in line with Elvis wearing higher heeled shoes, looking a strong 6'1.5" here. But again, camera angles or Nixon's age/posture may have seen him losing height in this photo.
Akin to Jim Morrison, A hefty heel was common for Elvis to wear, but whether there were custom raises inside is something that cannot be proven.
His Height Claims
On the cd Desert Storm, at the beginning he said he was 6'1.5", which given the hefty heels he sometimes wore on stage, he would be close to when wearing them and stating that number.
The most believable claim comes from an earlier and more serious setting, wherein the video below Elvis claims he is an "even 6 foot" tall. I believe this is not far off the truth, and he did in fact measure this number out of bed.
Watch from the 55 sec mark.
I believe that Elvis woke up at a comfortable 6 feet tall, but throughout the day he stood closer to 5'11.5 inches, and by bedtime probably fell near 5'11.25". So technically yes, he was 6 feet for a small portion of the day.
Heights Linked to Elvis Presley
- Gladys Presley, Mother, 5'7" (170.2 cm)
- Vernon Presley, Father, 6'1.75" (187.3 cm)
- Priscilla Presley, Wife, 5'3" (160 cm)
- Lisa Marie Presley, Daughter, 5'2" (157.5 cm)
- Benjamin Keough, Grandson, 5'10" (177.8 cm)
- Riley Keough, Granddaughter, 5'5.5" (166.4 cm)
- Michael Jackson, Married Elvis's daughter Lisa Marie, 5'9" (175.3 cm)