Evel Knievel

Evel Knievel

About Evel Knievel

Evel Knievel (October 17, 1938 - November 30, 2007), born Robert Craig Knievel, was an American daredevil and entertainer. In his career he attempted over 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps between 1965 and 1980, and in 1974, a failed jump across Snake River Canyon in the Skycycle X-2, a steam-powered rocket. The 433 broken bones he suffered during his career earned him an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the survivor of most bones broken in a lifetime. Knievel died of pulmonary disease in Clearwater, Florida, aged 69. According to The Times writing his obituary, Knievel was one of the greatest American icons of the 1970s. Knievel was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999. Knievel was born in Butte, Montana in 1938 and raised by his grandparents. After watching a Joie Chitwood auto daredevil show as a child, he took to jumping using a pedal bike, later moving on to motorcycles. As a troubled youth, he earned his stagename after occupying a jail cell next to a man named Knofel, leading the jailer to refer to the pair as Awful Knofel and Evil Knievel (Knievel later changed the spelling of the first name to Evel). In addition to stunt riding at local shows, his early life included a spell in the United States Armyat the behest of a magistrate, as well as jobs as a hunting guide and an insurance salesman, while also becoming an ice-hockey team owner. Knievel notably staged an exhibition match against the Czechoslovakian hockey team ahead of the 1960 Winter Olympics. After moving into sports full-time, he had moderate success on the motocross circuit.