Articles & Insights into the world of handwriting.

Letter from Elvis Presley to Nixon – a Mirror of Inner Turmoil

Elvis and Nixon

Take a look at this fascinating letter written by Elvis Presley to President Nixon in 1970.

The contents seem normal enough but underneath rages a river of inner turmoil and anxiety.

Who would have guessed what was raging under the surface? Nixon certainly didn’t get the full implications though it is said that he found the meeting somewhat uncomfortable.

In the letter Elvis requested a meeting with the president.  In fact he had been so anxious to get the meeting approved that he delivered this five-page letter in person to the White House.

Obviously his request was favourably received as we can see from the photo.   (Incidentally this photograph of Elvis and Nixon is now an important piece of memorabilia preserved in the U.S. National Archives.)

The Purpose of the Letter

The purpose of Elvis’s letter was to tell the president that he was particularly concerned about the drug problem among the youth and he felt that his position as a popular entertainer would help him to reach these young people.

In order to facilitate this he asked to be made a federal agent in the war against drugs.

How ironic this is in hindsight particularly in view of Elvis’s own growing dependence on drugs!

The Letter from Elvis Presley to Nixon

With that as background, let’s take a closer look at Elvis’s handwriting:



The letter is packed with many intriguing clues – in fact there are so many that a full analysis could run into many pages.

However, the most striking thing about the handwriting is the irregularity in several areas and precisely because it is such a dominant feature it is particularly significant.

In Graphology, inconsistencies and distortions to any great extent reflect confusion and anxiety.

Now take a look at the following signs:

  • Notice how the letters are all written differently. There is a lack of consistency and no particular style with regard to how the letters are shaped.
  • If you take a look at the Capital I alone you will see that it is configured differently all the way down the page.
  •  Take note of the lower loops of the y’s and g’s – there are hardly any lower loops that are written in the same way. And in addition, they move around in all directions.
  • The base line goes up and down like the waves of the sea.
  • Some letters are wide; others are cramped together. Compare the open airiness of “love it. Sir” in the first line with the restricted look of “communications with people” in the fourth line from the bottom.

There are many other instances of irregularity which I cannot go into here because it would demand a thesis! But take a look and you will see many more discrepancies for yourself.

The Meaning of Discordant handwriting

So what does all this mean and how can we interpret such discordant handwriting?

Well, this letter was written when Elvis had already been out of the army for about a decade.

The relevance of the army to all this is that during his military service a sergeant had introduced him to amphetamines. Now Elvis had always been against drugs ever since his youth.  He always advocated clean living and so he convinced himself that his own usage was purely medicinal. He felt that the amphetamines gave him strength and energy. But his growing dependence on them clearly had a negative effect.

With that as background we can begin to see why this handwriting is so conflicted.

Therefore, under the circumstances it would not be very productive to analyze a handwriting like this using normal standards. There are too many contradictions that have their base in extraneous influences. We would have to analyze a sample of handwriting from an earlier period in Elvis’s life to get a better idea of his real personality.

It would be very interesting to compare this letter to a sample of his handwriting written before his army period. But unfortunately I was unable to find such a sample.

If you come across such a sample please write in and let me know.  In any case I would be interested to hear your opinion about this extraordinary page of handwriting.


  • Emma
    May 17, 2015

    Yes, I wondered about the amphetamine factor while reading another analysis of this letter. He was on various “downers” as well, but the semi-delusional grandiosity that led to this extremely impulsive trip to Washington and the compelling need to meet with the president in order to convince him to make him some sort of secret agent, seems more like the kind of behavior associated with amphetamine use, rather than sedatives or strong pain killers. My layperson’s feeling is that much insight about his non-drug-altered traits can be gleaned from this sample, BUT that you are correct: To have any hope of responibly separating what is caused or exaggerated by the influence of drugs, from what might be his “clean” personality, a pre-army sample would be necessary, as well as, I think, post-army samples during times when he was either taking smaller amounts of the amphetamines and other drugs, or they were not yet affecting him as dramatically as they were here. I’m glad you’ve pointed this out, as so many believe his drug difficulties did not begin until later than the date of this sample. Analyzing another person’s life is a great responsibility and should be done with great care.

    • User Avatar
      May 17, 2015

      HI Emma
      Thank you for your well-considered comments. You have raised some interesting points.

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