Dr. George C. Nichopoulos, Elvis Presley’s personal medicine in a decade before his genocide in 1977, who mislaid his medical permit for overprescribing addictive drugs for years to countless patients, died on Wednesday in Memphis. He was 88.
Memorial Park Funeral Home in Memphis announced his genocide in a post on a website.
Dr. Nichopoulos, famous as Dr. Nick, was a alloy on call during a medical core in Memphis in 1967 when he was summoned to provide Presley during his home, Graceland. The thespian was pang from saddle sores on his thighs and bum caused by too many horseback riding.
Doctor and studious struck adult a rapport, and for a subsequent few years, whenever Presley flew in from Hollywood, Dr. Nichopoulos treated him for a accumulation of complaints, many associated to insomnia and rheumatic pain.
After Presley returned to Memphis henceforth in 1970, Dr. Nichopoulos became his primary medicine and something more. “I was one of his closest friends,” he told a inquisitive contributor Gerald Posner for a 2009 essay in The Daily Beast. “At times we was his father, his best friend, his doctor. Whatever purpose we indispensable to play during a time, we did.”
Presley was found slumped over in a lavatory in Graceland, dead, on Aug. 16, 1977. He was 42.
The county medical investigator found a means to be coronary arrhythmia, or strange heartbeat, ensuing from hypertensive heart illness associated to high blood pressure, though a toxicology news fueled conjecture that drug use had played a role. It showed “significant” levels of codeine, a opiate Ethinamate, quaaludes and an unlimited barbiturate.
Lesser amounts of morphine, Demerol, Placidyl, Valium and Chlorpheniramine, an antihistamine, were also found. In a 1981 talk with American Medical News, Dr. Nichopoulos pronounced he had prescribed usually dual of a drugs in a report.
In 1980 Dr. Nichopoulos was indicted on 14 depends of overprescribing stimulants, depressants and painkillers for Presley, a thespian Jerry Lee Lewis and several other patients. Two depends traffic with Presley indicted Dr. Nichopoulos of “unlawfully, willfully and feloniously” prescribing, in a months heading to Presley’s death, a cornucopia of narcotics, painkillers, depressants and ardour suppressants.
Dr. Nichopoulos was clear of all charges, though in 1995 a Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners henceforth dangling his medical license, saying that he had been overprescribing to countless patients for years.
In one of several appeals to a board, Dr. Nichopoulos certified overprescribing — in 1977 alone he wrote prescriptions for some-more than 10,000 doses of opiates, amphetamines, barbiturates, tranquilizers, hormones and laxatives for Presley — though denied being a “Dr. Feelgood” feeding his patient’s addictions.
“I cared too much,” he told a board.
In his 2010 memoir, “The King and Dr. Nick: What Really Happened to Elvis and Me,” created with Rose Clayton Phillips and published in 2010, Dr. Nichopoulos explained that a drugs were dictated for Presley’s entourage, rope and prolongation crew, whom he treated on a road. He confirmed that he had tried, in vain, to heal Presley of his addictions, mostly administering placebos.
“Elvis was a organisation follower there was a medicine for everything,” he told American Medical News. “You know how some people will sneeze and consider they need a pill, or get a flesh cramp and wish relief, or go to a dentist and need a painkiller? Others aren’t bothered. Elvis was assured he indispensable drugs.”
George Constantine Nichopoulos was innate on Oct. 29, 1927, in Ridgway, Pa., and grew adult in Anniston, Ala., where his father, a Greek immigrant, non-stop a tiny restaurant, Gus’ Sanitary Café.
He enlisted in a Army out of high propagandize and served in Germany in a Army Medical Corps. After withdrawal a troops he enrolled in a pre-med module during a University of a South in Sewanee, Tenn., graduating with a bachelor’s grade in 1951. He followed connoisseur work in clinical physiology during a University of Tennessee Medical School and went on to acquire a medical grade from Vanderbilt University Medical School in 1959.
Dr. Nichopoulos belonged to a organisation use with 5 other doctors in Memphis clinging to inner medicine when a call came to provide Presley, a veteran highway that probably busted his life and broken his career.
In 1980, before a indictment, a state house of medical examiners, while clearing him of charges of reprobate conduct, barred him from practicing medicine for 3 months and put him on trial for 3 years, a preface to a permanent cessation of his permit 15 years later.
“They only never stopped going after me,” Dr. Nichopoulos told The Daily Beast. “They always wanted a victim for Elvis’s death.”
In his memoir, in an try to finish conjecture that drugs led to Presley’s death, Dr. Nichopoulos offering a prolonged list of a singer’s medical problems, including amiable diabetes, glaucoma, migraine headaches, insomnia, adrenal scarcity and allergies causing nose and throat problems. He theorized that Presley’s genocide was caused by megacolon, a stoppage of a bowel creation it formidable or unfit to discharge plain waste,
“To my believe a volume of medication drugs Elvis took had zero to do with his death,” he told a website Elvis Information Network in 2010. “What he was holding was medically suitable and did not lead to complications that caused his death.”
Unable to use medicine, Dr. Nichopoulos worked for a incapacity claims dialect during a Federal Express bureau and quickly worked as a highway manager for Jerry Lee Lewis. He orderly a “Memories of Elvis” debate to vaunt some of his Presley memorabilia, that enclosed his doctor’s bag. In it was an dull Dilaudid bottle with Presley’s name on it. The debate finished after shows during dual Las Vegas Casinos.
He is survived by his wife, Edna; dual daughters, Christine Nichopoulos and Elaine Nichopoulos; a son, Dean; 4 grandchildren; and 9 great-grandchildren.