Evel Knievel and Kelly Knievel
Evel Knievel was an American daredevil and stunt performer who performed motorcycle jumps. He set several world records.
Robbie Knievel, his son, followed in his father’s footsteps and became a daredevil himself. He jumped rattlesnakes, lions, and rows of buses.
He died on February 2, 2019 after battling pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his brother Kelly Knievel and daughters Krysten and Karmen.
Evel Knievel rose to fame at a time when Americans were in need of a hero. His stunts were not just a form of entertainment but an inspiration to his fans.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Knievel performed his daredevil act at county fairs all over the country. During his shows, he performed wheelies, blasted through walls of burning plywood, and jumped over vehicles.
He later went into semi-retirement and appeared in small venues. He remained in poor health for many years with diabetes and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable lung condition that was probably caused by blood transfusions after several of his crashes.
When Knievel was trying to jump over the Caesars Palace fountains on New Year’s Eve 1967, his motorcycle lost power on takeoff and he fell from the bike. He fractured his pelvis, hip, and ribs.
Although he was known for his dangerous stunts, he had a long list of other accomplishments. In 1975, he successfully jumped over fourteen Greyhound busses at Kings Island near Cincinnati.
During his career, Knievel suffered from a number of injuries and illness, including a bout with hepatitis C. In 1999, he was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and underwent a liver transplant. He died in 2007 at 69 from this disease.
In a career spanning decades, Robbie Knievel was known for his accomplishments in the stunt and daredevil community. He performed 350 jumps and racked up 20 world records.
The son of legendary daredevil Evel Knievel, Robbie Knievel became a daredevil in his own right and drew a lot of attention from the media. He also experienced a lot of personal struggles, according to his brother Kelly Knievel.
Despite these hardships, Robbie continued to perform feats of bravery. He accomplished life-threatening acts, broke numerous world records and became well-known for his trademark backflip.
His most famous motorcycle stunt was the one he did over the fountains at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. This was a big deal for the city and it brought a lot of attention to Knievel.
After that, he began to jump over other public spaces including rows of cars and a box full of rattlesnakes. These stunts helped him to promote his new motorcycle shop in Moses Lake, Washington, and it launched his career as a motorcycle jumper.
On December 31, 2008, he made another famous jump over a volcano at the Mirage Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. This time, he used a skycycle to complete the stunt. It was broadcast on television and proved to be a major success.
Kelly Knievel was a stunt performer who followed in the footsteps of his father and became famous for jumping vehicles. He was 62 years old and died of pancreatic cancer on Friday, February 8, 2019, according to the Associated Press.
He began jumping motorcycles at age 8 and by the time he graduated from Central Catholic High School in Butte, Montana, he was performing in Madison Square Garden alongside his father Evel Knievel. He had dreams of jumping the Grand Canyon but that was not to be.
Nevertheless, he got his start as a motorcycle stuntman. As a boy, he saw an auto daredevil named Joey Chitwood perform and thought it was something he could do on his own.
After that, he started traveling from small town to small town as a solo act and adding more and more cars to his jumps. Then he started to demand more money from the companies he jumped with and negotiated endorsement deals with various brands of motorcycles.
Butte-based Knievel had a rough childhood. He grew up in a trailer, and his first motorcycle ride was as a day-old newborn toddled along on his father’s back after he had fishtailed his Harley-Davidson from the maternity ward.
During his career, Knievel suffered more than 433 bone fractures, which makes him the survivor of “most bones broken in a lifetime”. But he was also a remarkably resilient person who fought cancer and made it through with his family by his side.
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