Saturday, December 01, 2007

Evel Knievel, RIP

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) - Evel Knievel, the red-white-and-blue-spangled motorcycle daredevil whose jumps over crazy obstacles including 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. He also suffered two strokes in recent years.

Longtime friend and promoter Billy Rundle 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?" Rundle said.

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.

"I think he lived 20 years longer than most people would have" after so many injuries, said his son Kelly Knievel, 47. "I think he willed himself into an extra five or six years."

Read the full story here.

Here's a comic book add from the 70's featuring Evel Knievel toys. Me, my brother and friends had some of these when we were kids. Mr. Knievel was an icon and he will be missed.


pika23 said...

Hi!!! There was a pretty decent movie on a couple years ago about Evel. Ted McGinley i think played him. It was on TNT i believe.

I wanna say how much i like your site, and love all the cd downloads! I'm trying to download the funny bones vol II but my 'puter is slow as shit so its taking a while. I dl'ed the cartoon soundtracks one tho...Toon Tunes i think it is? Its a big hit amongst my friends.

Erick Monsterama2000 said...

Pika23 - Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you're enjoying it.