His estate has brought in $55m over the past twelve months, made up of visits to his Graceland home, ticket sales from Las Vegas show Viva Elvis and other deals.
But that’s only enough to rank The King as third-top earner across the entire entertainment industry. Actress Elizabeth Taylor went to the top after making $210m, largely due to a jewellery sale. Pop star Michael Jackson came next with earnings totalling $145m – more than any living celebrity’s annual takings.
Both late Beatles, John Lennon and George Harrison, make the list with incomes of $12m and $5.5m respectively. Bob Marley brought in $17m and Richard Rogers of Rogers & Hammerstein fame earned $6m.
Forbes Magazine says: “Our list looks at earnings between October 2011 and October 2012. We count money coming into the estate and we don’t deduct for how the estate handles it. So for example, some of the proceeds from Elizabeth Taylor’s auction went to her AIDS Foundation, but we did not subtract that contribution from her total earnings.”
Forbes Magazine’s top dead earners
1. Elizabeth Taylor, actress: $210m
2. Michael Jackson, pop star: $145m
3. Elvis Presley: $55m
4. Charles Schulz, cartoonist: $37m
5. Bob Marley: $17m
6. John Lennon: $12m
7. Marilyn Monroe, actress: $10m
8. Albert Einstein, scientist: $10m
9. Theodor Geisel (Dr Seuss), author: $9m
10. Steve McQueen, actor: $8m
11. Bettie Page, actress: $8m
12. Richard Rogers (Rogers & Hammerstein), songwriter: $6m
13. George Harrison: $5.5m
Topics: Elvis Presley