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Joe Esposito (1938 - 2016)

Getty Images / Photo by Dr. Billy Ingram

Joe Esposito (1938 - 2016)

Elvis Presley's close friend and road manager Joe Esposito has died, according to The Associated Press. He was 78.

Esposito's daughter, Cindy Bahr, told The Associated Press Tuesday that he had dementia and died Nov. 23 of natural causes in Calabasas, California.

Esposito met Elvis when they were both serving in the Army in 1959. They became lifelong friends. After their military service, Esposito became the King’s personal assistant, bodyguard, and road manager when Elvis was on tour.


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He enjoyed making appearances at Elvis conventions around the world. He loved greeting fans, taking pictures, and talking about his friend Elvis.

“I handled almost every detail surrounding his personal needs during the movie years, the Vegas years, and the touring years,” he recalled in his 1994 memoir, "Good Rockin’ Tonight." “I even made flight and hotel arrangements for all of Elvis’ girlfriends, which would be a challenge to anyone’s organizational skills.” 

Esposito was one of two best men at Presley's wedding to Priscilla Presley in 1967, and he was one of the pallbearer’s at his funeral.

After Presley's death, Esposito went to work for Jerry Weintraub and became road manager for the Bee Gees, Michael Jackson, and John Denver.

Along with Bahr, Esposito is survived by his son, Anthony; a brother; a sister; and three grandchildren.

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