And that's not counting all the miscellaneous acts of generosity he displayed toward completely random strangers, from barmaids to people he saw on TV. At this point, we're thinking that his anonymity was half humility, half self-preservation -- if the world had known how generous he was in addition to being George Michael, he would have fatally drowned in ass long ago.
Elvis Couldn't Stop Giving Random People Cadillacs
When you look at Elvis in his final years, it's immediately clear that his worst habits had taken a toll on him. His prescription drug problem, eating disorder, and sideburns had all gotten dangerously out of hand. However, there's one seldom-discussed dependency that Elvis suffered with almost as much intensity: His addiction to giving people scores and scores of Cadillacs. It all started when Elvis had his first modest hit in 1955, and immediately bought a Cadillac for his mother. Elvis' mother, by the way, couldn't drive.
"This is nice, son, but your father needs money for an operation and ..."
"Say no more. Here's another Cadillac."
In 1975, Elvis gave a Cadillac to one of his backup singers ... and that's when things started to get out of control. Soon after, his dentist received one. Then his jeweler, his hairstylist, and his valet (the latter presumably because Elvis didn't want him driving his Cadillac).
At one point that year, Presley had entered the showroom at Madison Cadillac in Memphis and just bought 13 Cadillacs to be dispensed among any combination of people who worked for him. During his time there, a black bank teller named Mennie Person was admiring his Cadillac limousine out front, so Elvis approached her and asked, "Like it? I'll buy you one." He had the salesman add it to the list, which brought the grand total of his day of car shopping to $140,000. Person casually mentioned her upcoming birthday in two days, so Elvis had one of his guys cut her a check. Presumably, it said, "To be spent exclusively on Cadillacs."
"Wow, it's like Christmas!"
"Christmas? Five Cadillacs for your kids."