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Posted: August 16, 2012 9:01 p.m.

The King of Elvis memorabilia

Man says he has largest Elvis collection in U.S.

The King may have been dead for more than three decades, but Elvis lives on for super collector Tim Hunter, who has the largest collection of memorabilia in the U.S., and possibly, the world.

For the last 25 years, Hunter has collected the memorabilia. He has records, lamps, paintings, posters, autographs and rare collectibles, such as a sweat-strained handkerchief and a monkey, worn on stage in Las Vegas by Elvis himself, along with several albums of rare photographs given to him by friends and people from all over the world.

"When I was 17 or 18, we were on the way to the cemetery to bury my grandfather," said Hunter. "On the way, it came over the radio that Elvis had just died. When we got to the cemetery and got out of the limousine, everyone was crying. But they weren't crying about my grandfather - they were crying about Elvis."

From that first memory of Elvis, Hunter went on to become a fan of his gospel music.

"I grew up in the church and so did Elvis," he said. "I started collecting his gospel albums and then his other albums. People just started giving me things and it just became amazing."

Hunter has 9,000 pieces of Elvis memorabilia, not counting all his framed records, 487 of which he has hanging in his antique store, Lingering Memories, in Conyers. He has between 600-700 more albums that have not yet been framed.

Along with the items sent to him from all over the world, Hunter also has about 100 people a week who come into his shop just to see the Elvis collection. Though some items are not for sale, many are, and Hunter is happy to show off his pride and joy.

It's a collection fit for a king, and one Elvis would have been proud of.

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