1. #1
    The Seer
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    Motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel dies at 69

    Sucks.This guy had the biggest balls in history!

    Motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel dies at 69

    By MITCH STACY, Associated Press Writer
    November 30, 2007

    CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) -- Evel Knievel, the red-white-and-blue-spangled motorcycle daredevil whose jumps over Greyhound buses, live sharks and Idaho's Snake River Canyon made him an international icon in the 1970s, died Friday. He was 69.

    Knievel's death was confirmed by his granddaughter, Krysten Knievel. He had been in failing health for years, suffering from diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable condition that scarred his lungs.

    Knievel had undergone a liver transplant in 1999 after nearly dying of hepatitis C, likely contracted through a blood transfusion after one of his bone-shattering spills.

    Immortalized in the Washington's Smithsonian Institution as "America's Legendary Daredevil," Knievel was best known for a failed 1974 attempt to jump Snake River Canyon on a rocket-powered cycle and a spectacular crash at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. He suffered nearly 40 broken bones before he retired in 1980.

    Though Knievel dropped off the pop culture radar in the '80s, the image of the high-flying motorcyclist clad in patriotic, star-studded colors was never erased from public consciousness. He always had fans and enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years.

    His death came just two days after it was announced that he and rapper Kanye West had settled a federal lawsuit over the use of Knievel's trademarked image in a popular West music video.

    Knievel made a good living selling his autographs and endorsing products. Thousands came to Butte, Mont., every year as his legend was celebrated during the "Evel Knievel Days" festival.

    "They started out watching me bust my ass, and I became part of their lives," Knievel said. "People wanted to associate with a winner, not a loser. They wanted to associate with someone who kept trying to be a winner."

    For the tall, thin daredevil, the limelight was always comfortable, the gab glib. To Knievel, there always were mountains to climb, feats to conquer.

    "No king or prince has lived a better life," he said in a May 2006 interview with The Associated Press. "You're looking at a guy who's really done it all. And there are things I wish I had done better, not only for me but for the ones I loved."

    He had a knack for outrageous yarns: "Made $60 million, spent 61. ...Lost $250,000 at blackjack once. ... Had $3 million in the bank, though."

    He began his daredevil career in 1965 when he formed a troupe called Evel Knievel's Motorcycle Daredevils, a touring show in which he performed stunts such as riding through fire walls, jumping over live rattlesnakes and mountain lions and being towed at 200 mph behind dragster race cars.

    In 1966 he began touring alone, barnstorming the West and doing everything from driving the trucks, erecting the ramps and promoting the shows. In the beginning he charged $500 for a jump over two cars parked between ramps.

    He steadily increased the length of the jumps until, on New Year's Day 1968, he was nearly killed when he jumped 151 feet across the fountains in front of Caesar's Palace. He cleared the fountains but the crash landing put him in the hospital in a coma for a month.

    His son, Robbie, successfully completed the same jump in April 1989.

    In the years after the Caesar's crash, the fee for Evel's performances increased to $1 million for his jump over 13 buses at Wembley Stadium in London -- the crash landing broke his pelvis -- to more than $6 million for the Sept. 8, 1974, attempt to clear the Snake River Canyon in Idaho in a rocket-powered "Skycycle." The money came from ticket sales, paid sponsors and ABC's "Wide World of Sports."

    The parachute malfunctioned and deployed after takeoff. Strong winds blew the cycle into the canyon, landing him close to the swirling river below.

    On Oct. 25, 1975, he jumped 14 Greyhound buses at Kings Island in Ohio.

    Knievel decided to retire after a jump in the winter of 1976 in which he was again seriously injured. He suffered a concussion and broke both arms in an attempt to jump a tank full of live sharks in the Chicago Amphitheater. He continued to do smaller exhibitions around the country with his son, Robbie.

    Many of his records have been broken by daredevil motorcyclist Bubba Blackwell.

    Knievel also dabbled in movies and TV, starring as himself in "Viva Knievel" and with Lindsay Wagner in an episode of the 1980s TV series "Bionic Woman." George Hamilton and Sam Elliott each played Knievel in movies about his life.

    Evel Knievel toys accounted for more than $300 million in sales for Ideal and other companies in the 1970s and '80s.

    Born Robert Craig Knievel in the copper mining town of Butte on Oct. 17, 1938, Knievel was raised by his grandparents. He traced his career choice back to the time he saw Joey Chitwood's Auto Daredevil Show at age 8.

    Outstanding in track and field, ski jumping and ice hockey at Butte High School, he went on to win the Northern Rocky Mountain Ski Association Class A Men's ski jumping championship in 1957 and played with the Charlotte Clippers of the Eastern Hockey League in 1959.

    He also formed the Butte Bombers semiprofessional hockey team, acting as owner, manager, coach and player.

    Knievel also worked in the Montana copper mines, served in the Army, ran his own hunting guide service, sold insurance and ran Honda motorcycle dealerships. As a motorcycle dealer, he drummed up business by offering $100 off the price of a motorcycle to customers who could beat him at arm wrestling.

    At various times and in different interviews, Knievel claimed to have been a swindler, a card thief, a safe cracker, a holdup man.

    Evel Knievel married hometown girlfriend, Linda Joan Bork, in 1959. They separated in the early 1990s. They had four children, Kelly, Robbie, Tracey and Alicia.

    Robbie Knievel followed in his father's footsteps as a daredevil, jumping a moving locomotive in a 200-foot, ramp-to-ramp motorcycle stunt on live television in 2000. He also jumped a 200-foot-wide chasm of the Grand Canyon.

    Knievel lived with his longtime partner, Krystal Kennedy-Knievel, splitting his time between their Clearwater condo and Butte. They married in 1999 and divorced a few years later but remained together. Knievel had 10 grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

  2. #2
    regularguy's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Evel ruled.

  3. #3
    bigboydan's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    I remember watching him making jumps in the 70's on ABC's wide world of sports all the time. I'm actually surprised he lived this long really, because I would have swore he would have died when he tried to jump that snake river canyon.

    Evel Knievel jumps snake river canyon

  4. #4
    slummin it
    louisvillekid's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    there was just an article in my local paper, about him and Kanye West had just settled some lawsuit he had against kanye.

    i remember he was a big deal in my neighborhood in the late 70's, even in the early 80's, everyone wanting to try and jump their bikes over stuff and daring each other.

  5. #5
    stump's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    the guy was a real character. about 10 yrs ago he was at a local country club, making bets with the members that they could not drink 3 shots of whiskey and then drive 1 out of 3 balls in the fairway on the first hole. enjoyed meeting him, and only 1 out of about 15 actually drove it in the fairway

  6. #6
    bigboydan's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Heres the jump at Caesar's Palace were Evel Knievel broke every bone in his body.

  7. #7
    SBR_John's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Dammm he earned every penny on that jump. What a guy! RIP

  8. #8
    Willie Bee
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    Quote Originally Posted by louisvillekid View Post
    i remember he was a big deal in my neighborhood in the late 70's, even in the early 80's, everyone wanting to try and jump their bikes over stuff and daring each other.
    We were doing the same thing in the late 60s, early 70s on our mini-bikes and little Honda's.

    Here's a site that shows a clip of a jump I saw him do in the Astrodome: Evel Knievel - Astrodome

  9. #9
    SBR Lou
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    He was the man. RIP

  10. #10
    mrmark's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Loved Evil! Evil and my dad hung together in the late 70's and 80's. Evil was a fun lovin guy who loved life.never be a guy like him ever again!

  11. #11
    mmatthewo's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    I still remember that jump where we broke something like 20 or more bones in his body on ABC wide world of sports.

    RIP Evel.

  12. #12
    hoggin1's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    RIP Evil........you will be missed, but your toy will live on forever!!!!!!

  13. #13
    19th Hole
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    Robbie Knievel, Evel Knievel's Stuntman Son, Dead at 60

    Robbie Knievel, the stuntman son of legendary daredevil Evel Knievel,
    has died after a battle with advanced pancreatic cancer.

    Robbie's brother Kelly confirmed the news to ET, noting that
    the performer died early Friday morning in hospice care, surrounded
    by his three daughters.

    Robbie was one of four children Evel had with his first wife, Linda.
    He was born in Butte, Montana, on May 7, 1962 and performed alongside his father for the first time at age 8.

    Over the course of his own stunt career -- where he performed as
    "Kaptain Robbie Knievel" -- he completed over 340 jumps, setting 20 world records and often attempting to replicate some of his father's
    most famous stunts.

    Robbie had several jumps televised live, with his first being the
    Caesars Palace fountains in 1989, a tribute to his father, who
    failed to clear the fountains in 1967. Robbie landed safely
    and became the first to successfully jump the fountains,
    telling the cameras, "That was for you, Dad."