Colonel Tom Parker
Elvis Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, did not earn his title in the military, and “Tom Parker” wasn’t even his real name. The Colonel, who claimed he was from West Virginia, was actually born Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk in Breda, Holland. He entered the United States illegally as a teenager and joined the U.S. Army in 1930, serving with the coastal artillery in Hawaii. (He assumed the name “Thomas Parker” from a captain he met in the service.) Following his time in the Army, Parker became involved in music management and promotion, and in 1948 he received the honorary title “Colonel” from his friend, Lousiana governor Jimmie Williams, a former country singer. Seven years later, the Colonel met the young man who would become The King.