Todd Morgan, who for years has been Graceland's "public face," was found dead in his apartment. Todd Morgan has been at Graceland since it was opened to the public in 1982. He started as a tour guide.
It had not been announced publicly yet, but Todd had just been promoted to a new position and was to report directly to Gary Hovey in Los Angeles, though he would remain in Memphis. He was due to go out to dinner last night with friends to celebrate his promotion, but did not show. Reports are he must have died in his sleep last night.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Todd’s family and friends. Rest in Piece, Todd.
Update, statements from EPE and Lisa Marie Presley:
"We at Graceland have suffered the loss of one of our most beloved family members. Todd Morgan passed away on Saturday at the age of 45 from what was believed to be a massive heart attack, he was found by friends at his East Memphis home Sunday morning after he didn’t show up for a pre-planned gathering."
"Todd made a career out of Graceland, starting out as a tour guide in May of 1983 following his graduation from the University of Mississippi. In his 25 years as a faithful and loyal Elvis Presley Enterprises employee, Todd played a major part in the development of Graceland as an attraction and in the many projects produced by EPE that have allowed fans all over the world to celebrate the life and legacy of Elvis Presley."
"We are truly saddened by this devastating loss and will miss him dearly. Details of services have yet to be determined but we will post them as soon as we are made aware by his family.
Statement from Lisa Marie Presley:
"Todd's sudden and untimely death is a huge shock and a great loss for us personally and for EPE. He has been an incredible gift and Gem in all of the 25 years that he worked at Graceland. He was so unbelievably devoted to us, to my Father and to his job. His heart, soul and his dedication could never be replaced. This is just nothing but sad and awful for everyone, our prayers and hearts are with him and his family. He will be deeply missed."
LMP and family.
Statement from Priscilla Presley:
"I am still in shock and disbelieve in the untimely death of Todd Morgan. This is a great loss for all of us who knew and loved him. He was one of Graceland’s original employees starting as a young, bright and enthusiastic kid who always knew how to bring a smile or a laugh to any situation good, bad or indifferent. My heart goes out to all of you who worked with him on a daily basis and to his family who should know how much he was loved by all of us. He will be missed and irreplaceable."
Update from Commercial Appeal (Memphis Newspaper):
Todd Morgan, the public face of Graceland for more than a decade, was found dead in his East Memphis home Sunday morning.
Early indications, friends said, point to a massive heart attack, although an autopsy is planned. Morgan, director of special projects for Elvis Presley Enterprises, was 45.
"We've lost a great friend and a great part of the Graceland family," said Jack Soden, chief executive officer of Elvis Presley Enterprises.
Friends became concerned when Morgan failed to show for dinner Saturday night. They called, but got no answer.
When Morgan's friends couldn't reach him Sunday morning, they went to his home and saw him on the floor through a window.
Firefighters forced entry into the house on Chickasaw and found Morgan collapsed in his bedroom. It appeared he'd died sometime early Saturday afternoon, Graceland public relations director Kevin Kern said.
"This comes as a great shock," said Kern, who was hired by Morgan. "To lose somebody at 45, it's hard to believe."
Morgan began working at Graceland in 1983 as a tour guide, driving to the Whitehaven mansion while still a student at Ole Miss, Kern said.
He became familiar to fans and media from around the world as the Graceland spokesman, particularly during Elvis Week, before moving on to new roles.
One of those roles, Kern said, was as a producer of Elvis projects. Morgan helped spearhead the "Elvis: Live" concerts which debuted in the early 1990s with Elvis appearing on stage via concert footage meshed with live performances by his former band members, backup singers and others.
"That was his concept. He brought it to life, and the first concert sold out Radio City Music Hall," Kern said.
Morgan, who grew close to Priscilla Presley, had planned to go to Los Angeles to attend a taping of her upcoming appearance on "Dancing with the Stars.
Although friends said Morgan wasn't a devoted Elvis fan before coming to Graceland, that quickly changed once he began working there.
"I worked with Todd for three and a half years, and he had a devotion to preserving the legacy of Elvis. He could well be Elvis' No. 1 fan," Kern said. "The Elvis world has suffered a great loss. He's an expert, and he helped shape the legacy."
Added Soden: "He knew how to be a very professional, strategic and very smart steward of the legacy."
Friends began gathering at Morgan's home Sunday afternoon.
"He's the nicest person I've ever met," David Burton said. "He took a lot of interest in (his friends's) lives."
Friends said they were unaware of any health problems Morgan might have had.
Morgan was single with no children. His family began arriving in Memphis Sunday afternoon from Clarendon, Ark. Funeral arrangements were still pending.