Spelling of Elvis' middle name

Is it Aron or Aaron?

In our FREE weekly email newsletter #242, we published the following story:

The reason for the spelling of Aron with only one A is because the names Jesse Garon and Elvis Aron were meant to rhyme. For some odd reason in the early 20th century, it was popular to rhyme the middle names of your children (it's rampant in my mom's family, for example).

Elvis switched it to Aaron in later years to reflect the biblical spelling.

We were surprised by the response. Here is a selection of responses:

Bill E. Burk (Elvis World): Aron vs. Aaron - Elvis, from the gitgo, was named (middle name) after Presley family friend AAron Kennedy, himself a twin. The birth certificate, after misspelling it Aron, was changed to Aaron. Vernon Presley would tell me on 8 January 1978, at the gate, that he was not very educated when Elvis was born and when they asked him to spell the name, he gave them a wrong spelling.

Phil Aitcheson (The Presley Commission): To set the record straight.  Elvis' middle name according to a verification by the FBI back in the early nineties was ARON.  AARON didnot come into the picture until 1977, when Vernon Presley decided to put it on the tombstone.  If Elvis had anything to say about it, that may have been prior to August 16, 1977, but the FBI did verify that the correct spelling of his middle name as ARON.  A letter to my office confirmed it, and it will be shown in the upcoming book, The Presley Alternative, due to be released within the next two years.

The revised birth certificate
Brian Viends: Elvis's middle name on his original birth certificate was "Aron". This was also used by his record company RCA on several records.

Regina Milton: I thought Elvis legally changed the spelling of his middle name to Aaron and had a second birth certificate issued.

Alistair Browning: Aron, Aaron, why does it matter? Can't we just listen to his music as the biggest selling recording artist of all-time.

And just to confuse the debate further, here is EPE's official line on the issue:

Are you ready for this? Either spelling is right and either spelling is wrong. But, how can that be?

Elvis was named after his father, Vernon Elvis Presley, and Mr. Presley's good friend in Tupelo, Aaron Kennedy. Aron was the spelling the Presleys chose, apparently to make it similar to the middle name of Elvis' stillborn identical twin, Jesse Garon Presley. Jesse was apparently named after Vernon's father, Jessie Presley, although the spelling was slightly different.

Toward the end of his life, Elvis sought to change the spelling of his middle name to the traditional and biblical Aaron. In the process he learned that official state records had inexplicably listed it as Aaron, and not Aron as on his original birth records. Knowing Elvis' plans for his middle name, Aaron is the spelling his father chose for Elvis' tombstone, and it's the spelling his estate has designated as the official spelling when the middle name is used today.

Similarly, there is some slight confusion regarding the spelling of Jesse Garon's name. Most reliable resources have the spelling as Jesse. However, near the graves of Elvis, his parents and his grandmother at Graceland is a marker the family placed in memory of Elvis' twin, but the spelling is Jessie for reasons we have yet to determine. Jesse Garon's actual grave site is in Tupelo, MS where it has always been, but it remains unmarked by a tombstone. Lack of money in the family's early years was likely the reason. Then, once Elvis became wealthy and famous, the grave, which is in a public cemetery, remained unmarked most likely in the interest of privacy. Because of the spelling on the marker at Graceland, we tend to use the spelling Jessie to avoid confusion.

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