Evel Knievel Crashes for Real – Is Dead – a Spectacular Failure

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It wasn’t a jump over a fountain, or line of school buses, or in a rocket off a cliff that finally did in the World’s Greatest Daredevil. It was a pretty ordinary death by Evel’s standards.

Knievel had been in failing health for years, suffering from diabetes and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable condition that scarred his lungs. He 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.

His website reported his death today. He was 69.

Every boomer on a Spider Bike was Evel Knievel at one point or another. He wasn’t a boomer, but he sure appealed to us guys of boomer age.

What a showman, what a blowhard, what a ragdoll when he crashed.

He made his living and his reputation by failing. But he failed in spectacular fashion.

UPDATE: Blog of Hilarity has it right.

When I’d die, I’d die TO THE EXTREME! And I’d give all the credit to our friends at Mountain Dew. Dew or Die. That’s the kind of amazing product placement I give here…contact me advertisers, I have no scruples!

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Comments

Evel Knievel Crashes for Real – Is Dead – a Spectacular Failure — 15 Comments

  1. One thing for certain – his imagination ran wild. C’mon – jumping the Grand Canyon on a rocket cycle? and the day I saw his kid jump – or attempt to jump – a string of cars while he stood backward on his motorcycle?!?! Lets just say – I knew at that moment I was not a daredevil –

    But Evel was born in Butte…and that explains much of his story.

  2. We had a big steel place in our foothills in Draper called Widow Maker where they held a lot of motorcycle events. One day all the little boys disappeared and we had to go looking for them. They were all at Widow Maker watching Evil Knievel … this was before he was hugely famous in about 1973 or so. They played Evil Knievel forever after on their hotcycles, then their dirt bikes. I’m glad they turned to other heroes when they got past the dirt bike stages. We only had one son with a broken arm as a result of their home made jumps thank goodness!

  3. I bet there were a lot of broken bones because boys were trying to jump things! Just like a few jumped off garages with a sheet trying to fly like Superman. Boys will be boys.

  4. I remember watching him on TV when I was a kid. That year everyone I knew had an Evel Knievel doll, complete with toy bike.

    We’d make jumps out of anything we could find and send him flying across the room.

    I think its a mark of success to have a toy made in your name.

  5. not really positive if this is the correct location to inquire, still I’ve a couple of waverunners at 800 lbs each and I have a 2000 jeep cherokee sport 4. litre with no towing package deal. Exactly what trailer hitch should I buy?

  6. Isn’t his son taking over from where his Dad left off?

    Think his name is Robbie Knievel and for some reason he wasn’t put off being a dare deveil after his dad broke half the bones in his body.

  7. Evel Knievel had the guts to do things that many people would never even think of ding. Hope that his son can repeat or perhaps exceed the performances of his father.

    Timothy Cassar
    Webmaster
    My new site: Cash Advance Loans

  8. Looks like this post has had a sudden burst of interest lately. Having an interest in stunts I followed Evel Knievel’s career quite closely over time and while his death was less spectacular than most people would have wanted to see, it was quite sad to see him go so unexpectedly. It will be a while before we see another person that lives up to his standards!

    Jason Dale
    Wendy Houses Cape Town

  9. He really was a pioneer of his time. Just another example of someone shaking up things with all his daring acts. It was sad to see him go, but he lived life to the fullest while he was here!

  10. You’re righ, kitchenaid mixer! He surely lived his life to the fullest! Although he has passed away, many would admire him for being brave for doing such a game! That could be really a hard job, yet he still continue on it, many admired him for that. It is not a joke, working on with this game.

    I know, there are many people out there who are like him, so definitely, his story would be inspiring.

    Christian Adams
    Webmaster

  11. He was one of a kind for his time, while there are many people who will jump further and higher than him today, I don’t know many that would try it on the old motorcycles and sub standard safety equipment they had back then.