Penny Banner, after a long battle with cancer, died at her daughter's home on May 13 aged 74. She enjoyed a long successful wrestling career which spanned the years 1954 through 1977 and she had there is an Elvis connection.
Penny Banner is a name that won't be familiar to many Elvis fans. Penny was one of the original professional wrestling divas, who achieved world championship status in the early 1960s. Penny's connection with Elvis, while publicised in the media at the time, was for a long time relegated to that elusive ether full of "lost" Elvis stories. That was, until Penny published her memoir, "Banner Days", in 2004. Elvis met Penny after one of his concerts at the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis and they got together several more times including when Elvis attended one of Penny's matches in Memphis and at Graceland before Elvis left for his Army stint.
As Penny Banner eloquently describes, she and Elvis "were both from the same thread of life's cloth", and enjoyed each other's company, neither being in awe of the other.