Evel Knievel was X-treme long before X-Games were ever even a thought.
Evel Knievel’s famed jump over the fountains at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in 1967; he was unconscious for a month afterward. (NYT)
Evel Knievel, the man who crashed more times and broke more bones while amazing us with his remarkable dare devil motorcycle jumps died today. Evel Knievel just seemed so indestructible and during the 1970’s, he was larger than life. Some people are just born a breed a part and are born to live on the edge. Evel Knievel
Before there was extreme sports, there was Evel Knievel. Before there were X-Games and way before any X-Game athletes were even born, there was Evel Knievel. Wearing a red, white and blue cape and whose jumps over obstacles including Greyhound buses, live sharks and Idaho’s Snake River Canyon made him an international icon and cult hero in the 1970’s. Its hard to believe that it’s even possible; however, sadly Evel Knievel died today at the age of 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.
Longtime friend and promoter Billy Rundel said Knievel had trouble breathing at his Clearwater condominium and died before an ambulance could get him to a hospital.
“It’s been coming for years, but you just don’t expect it. Superman just doesn’t die, right?” Rundel said.