Elvis Presley, by matrilineal descent, was halakhically Jewish.
Historian and biographer Elaine Dundy writes about Elvis Aron Presley’s Jewish heritage in her book “Elvis and Gladys”:
Nancy Burdine was married to Abner Tackett (Elvis’ great great maternal grandmother).
Nancy was of particular interest to Gladys for her Jewish heritage, often remembering Nancy’s sons for their Jewish names Sidney and Jerome.
Nancy and Abner had a daughter Martha who married White Mansell. The daughter which they named Octavia, nick-named Doll, who was Elvis’ maternal grandmother.”
…Doll and Robert had nine children. Gladys Love was the fifth daughter born followed by 3 more brothers and one sister.
After his mother died, Elvis personally sought to design his beloved mother’s gravesite which included a Star of David on Gladys Love Presley’s tombstone.
The decision was made by him in honor of his Jewish heritage. Something his mother was proud of and acknowledged to Elvis at a very early age.So Elvis’s great great maternal grandmother was Jewish and had a daughter who had a daughter who had a daughter that was Elvis’s mother.
From: Nate Bloom
Presley was not Jewish. Yes, some sources repeat a tall tale that Presley's third cousin told 20 years ago to a Jewish biographer of Presley. This cousin said that he and Presley shared a very remote Jewish maternal ancestor (a woman who lived in the early to mid 1800's)
This biographer did no further checking on this cousin's story. She just reported it as "fact."
A detailed check of available records shows that this maternal ancestor was not Jewish. Presley and his parents did share a two-family house in Memphis, Tenn. with a poor Orthodox rabbi and his family in the early '50s.
I spoke to the daughter of this rabbi. Her mother, the rabbi's wife, and Presley's mother, Gladys, were close friends. Gladys, her mother told her, never said a word about any Jewish ancestor. Her mother said that if Gladys had any knowledge of any Jewish ancestor, the mother was sure Gladys wouldn't have hesitated to mention it.
Presley worked for the rabbi's family, doing tasks Jews were not permitted to do on the Jewish Sabbath. He did this for free. The rabbi, in turn, did things like lend Presley his record player and arrange for a summer camp trip for Presley. When Presley hit it big, he made a major donation to the rabbi's religious school.
As I often tell people, the true story of the lovely relations between this rabbi's family and the Presley family is a more important and meaningful story than a story about Presley having a remote Jewish maternal ancestor.