Robert "Red" Gene West was known as a close friend of Elvis Presley and a member of the Memphis Mafia. He first met Elvis in high school where he was a year behind him. West played football for the Memphis Tigers high school football team, boxed in the Golden Gloves and played football for Jones Junior College playing center.West lived with his mother, Lois West, in the Hurt Housing project in Memphis. West became Elvis's personal driver in driving Elvis, and band members Scotty Moore, Bill Black, and later D.J. Fontana to different cities in the South for live appearances from 1955 to 1956. West served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1956 to late 1958 and was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia which allowed him to stay in contact with Elvis. On August 14, 1958, West's estranged father, Newton Thomas West, died, the same day as Elvis's mother, Gladys, died. After Elvis' discharge from the U.S. Army in 1960, West was employed as one of Elvis' bodyguards. Over the years, Elvis bought West a number of vehicles as he became a world-famous celebrity.West also became a movie stuntman and appeared in 16 Elvis Presley movies in the 1960s, usually playing extras or bit and supporting parts. West married one of Elvis's secretaries, Pat West, on July 1, 1961. A man of many talents, West became a songwriter for songs that Elvis, Pat Boone, Ricky Nelson and Johnny Rivers recorded, including the classic tune "Separate Ways" for Elvis which won a BMI Award. In addition to the Elvis movies, West appeared in three Robert Conrad TV series "The Wild Wild West" (1965), "Baa Baa Black Sheep" (1976) and "The Duke" (1979). During the 1970s West, his cousin Del 'Sonny' West and Dave Hebler were part of Elvis's bodyguards in transporting Elvis from city to city every day and keeping weirdo fans away from him. On July 13 1976, Vernon Presley, Elvis' father, fired West, Sonny West and Hebler from Elvis's employ after criticizing their heavy-handed tactics. The three of them collaborated on a book of their lives as Elvis's bodyguards which was published just two weeks before Elvis's death in 1977. West has since continued his acting career and his songwriting talent.