Dr. George C. Nichopoulos, Elvis Presley’s personal physician at the time of the King’s death in 1977, has died in Memphis. He was 88.
Memorial Park Funeral Home in Memphis announced his death in a post on its website, The New York Times
Nichopoulos, nicknamed “Dr. Nick,” was Presley’s personal physician through the 1970s and treated him for a variety of complaints, most related to insomnia and rheumatic pain.
After Presley was found dead, at the age of 42, in a bathroom in his Graceland home on Aug. 16, 1977, law enforcement officials turned their attention to Nichopoulos for prescribing large amounts of medications to the singer.
The county medical examiner determined Presley died as a result of an irregular heartbeat, but a toxicology report suggested drug use had played a role. It showed “significant” levels of codeine, the sedative Ethinamate, Quaaludes, an undetermined barbiturate, morphine, Demerol, Placidyl, Valium, and Chlorpheniramine, an antihistamine.
In 1980, Nichopoulos was indicted on 14 counts of overprescribing stimulants, depressants, and painkillers for Presley, the singer Jerry Lee Lewis, and several other patients. Two counts dealing with Presley accused him of “unlawfully, willfully and feloniously” prescribing, in the months leading to Presley’s death, a variety of narcotics, painkillers, depressants and appetite suppressants.
Although Nichopoulos was acquitted of all charges, the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners permanently suspended his medical license in 1995, stating that he had been overprescribing to numerous patients for years.
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