79 Facts About Evel Knievel


Robert Craig Knievel, known professionally as Evel Knievel, was an American stunt performer and entertainer.


Evel Knievel died of pulmonary disease in Clearwater, Florida, in 2007, aged69.


Evel Knievel left high school early to work in the copper mines but was later fired for causing a city-wide power outage.


On September 8,1974, Knievel attempted to jump across the Snake River Canyon in Idaho using a rocket-powered cycle called the Skycycle X-2.


The jump failed due to a parachute malfunction, but Knievel survived with minor injuries.


Evel Knievel was buried in his hometown of Butte, Montana.


Posthumously, Knievel has been honored through various exhibits, a museum, and tribute jumps.


Evel Knievel's surname is of German origin; his paternal great-great-grandparents emigrated to the United States from Germany.


At the age of eight, Knievel attended a Joie Chitwood auto daredevil show, which he credited for his later career choice as a motorcycle daredevil.


Evel Knievel was promoted to surface duty, where he drove a large earth mover.


Evel Knievel's athletic ability allowed him to join the track team, where he was a pole vaulter.


Shortly after getting married, Knievel started the Butte Bombers, a semi-pro hockey team.


Evel Knievel guaranteed that if a hunter employed his service and paid his fee, he would get the big game animal desired or Knievel would refund his fee.


In 1962, Knievel broke his collarbone and shoulder in a motocross accident.


Stone suggested that Knievel read Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, a book that Stone wrote with Napoleon Hill.


Evel Knievel decided that he could do something similar using a motorcycle.


Evel Knievel was hospitalized as a result of his injuries.


Evel Knievel began adding more and more cars to his jumps when he would return to the same venue to get people to come out and see him again.


On March 25,1967, Knievel cleared 15 cars at Ascot Park in Gardena, California.


Landing his cycle on the last vehicle, a panel truck, Knievel was thrown from his bike.


Again coming up short, Knievel crashed, breaking his left wrist, right knee, and two ribs.


Sarno finally agreed to meet Knievel and arranged for Knievel to jump the fountains on December 31,1967.


ABC declined but said that if Knievel had the jump filmed and it was as spectacular as he said it would be, they would consider using it later.


The sudden loss of power on the takeoff caused Knievel to come up short and land on the safety ramp which was supported by a van.


Just five months after his near-fatal crash in Las Vegas, Knievel performed another jump.


On May 25,1968, in Scottsdale, Arizona, Knievel crashed while attempting to jump 15 Ford Mustangs.


On May 10,1970, Knievel crashed while attempting to jump 13 Pepsi delivery trucks in Yakima, WA.


Evel Knievel's approach was complicated by the fact that he had to start on pavement, cut across grass, and then return to pavement.


Evel Knievel managed to hold on until the cycle hit the base of the ramp.


Evel Knievel broke his collarbone, suffered a compound fracture of his right arm, and broke both legs.


Evel Knievel reportedly suffered a broken back and a concussion after getting thrown off and run over by his motorcycle, a Harley-Davidson.


For 35 years, Knievel held the record for jumping the most stacked cars on a Harley-Davidson XR-750.


However, this number could be exaggerated: his son Robbie told a reporter in June 2014 that his father had broken 40 to 50 bones; Knievel himself claimed he broke 35.


One of the common movie posters for the film depicts Knievel jumping his motorcycle off a Grand Canyon cliff.


ABC's Wide World of Sports was unwilling to pay the price Knievel wanted for the Snake River Canyon jump, so he hired boxing promoter Bob Arum's company, Top Rank Productions, to put the event on closed-circuit television and broadcast to movie Investors in the event took a substantial loss, including promoter DonE.


Arum partnered with Invest West Sports, Shelly Saltman's company, to secure from Invest West Sports two things: first, the necessary financing for the jump, and second, the services of Saltman, long recognized as one of America's premier public relations and promotion men, to do publicity so that Knievel could concentrate on his jumps.


Evel Knievel survived the failed jump with only minor physical injuries.


On May 26,1975, in front of 90,000 people at Wembley Stadium in London, Knievel crashed while trying to land a jump over 13 redundant single-deck AEC Merlin buses.


On October 25,1975, Knievel jumped 14 Greyhound buses at Kings Island near Cincinnati, Ohio.


Evel Knievel's retirement was short-lived, and Knievel continued to jump.


Evel Knievel jumped only seven Greyhound buses but it was a success.


On January 31,1977, Knievel was scheduled for a major jump in Chicago, Illinois.


However, during his rehearsal, Knievel lost control of the motorcycle and crashed into a cameraman.


Between 1967 and 1968, Knievel jumped using the Triumph Bonneville T120.


When Knievel returned to jumping after the crash, he used Triumph for the remainder of 1968.


Between December 1969 and April 1970, Knievel used the Laverda American Eagle 750cc motorcycle.


On September 8,1974, Knievel attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon on a rocket-propelled motorcycle designed by former NASA engineer Robert Truax, dubbed the Skycycle X-2.


At the tail end of his career, while helping launch the career of his son, Robbie, Knievel returned to the Triumph T120.


Robbie sold limited-edition motorcycles from his company, Knievel Motorcycles Manufacturing Inc Although two of the motorcycles refer to Evel, Evel did not ride Robbie's bikes.


When Knievel began jumping, he used a black and yellow jumpsuit.


In interviews, he said the reason for the switch was because he saw how Liberace had become not just a performer, but the epitome of what a showman should be, and Knievel sought to create his variation of that showmanship in his jumps.


When Knievel switched to the Laverda motorcycle in 1969, he switched his leathers to an All American Themed red-white-and-blue jumpsuit with an "X" across the chest.


Later, Knievel adjusted the blue stripes to a V-shape.


In 1975, Knievel premiered the blue leathers with red stars on the white stripes for the Wembley jump.


In Last of the Gladiators, Knievel discussed the crash of a 1970 Pepsi-Cola sponsored jump in Yakima, Washington.


Evel Knievel constantly encouraged his fans to wear motorcycle helmets.


In 1987, Knievel supported a mandatory helmet bill in the State of California.


Evel Knievel was no longer satisfied with just receiving free motorcycles to jump with.


In 1974, Knievel and Amherst Records released at the Sound City Studios the self-titled album Evel Knievel, which included a press conference, an anti-drug talk for his young fans, and four other tracks.


Evel Knievel became a hero to a generation of young boys.


Between 1972 and 1977, Ideal Toy Company released a series of Evel Knievel-related merchandise, designed initially by Joseph M Burck of Marvin Glass and Associates.


Saltman's book was withdrawn by the publisher after Knievel threatened to sue.


Saltman later produced documents in both criminal and civil court that proved that, although Knievel claimed to have been insulted by statements in Saltman's book, he and his lawyers had been given editorial access to the book and had approved and signed off on every word before its publication.


On October 14,1977, Knievel pleaded guilty to battery and was sentenced to three years probation and six months in county jail.


Linda and Evel Knievel separated in the early 1990s and were divorced in 1997 in San Jose, California.


In 1999, Knievel married his girlfriend, Krystal Kennedy of Clearwater, Florida, whom he began dating in 1992.


In 1999, Knievel celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Snake River Canyon jump at the Twin Falls mall.


Evel Knievel's memorabilia was then stored at Kent Knigge's farm in Filer, Idaho, seven miles west of Twin Falls.


On October 9,2005, Knievel promoted his last public "motorcycle ride" at the Milwaukee Harley-Davidson dealership.


In 2003, Knievel signed over exclusive rights to Los Angeles composer Jef Bek, authorizing the production of a rock opera based on Knievel's life.


In February 1999, Knievel was given only a few days to live and he requested to leave the hospital and die at his home.


En route to his home, Knievel received a phone call from the hospital stating a young man had died in a motorcycle accident and could be a donor.


Evel Knievel had two strokes after 2005, but neither left him with severe debilitation.


Shortly before his death, Evel Knievel was featured in a BBC Two Christmas special presented by Richard Hammond.


The 60-minute program Richard Hammond Meets Evel Knievel aired on December 23,2007, less than a month after Knievel's death.


Evel Knievel had been suffering from diabetes and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis for many years.


In one of his last interviews, Knievel told Maxim magazine:.


On July 10,2010, a special temporary exhibit entitled True Evel: The Amazing Story of Evel Knievel was opened at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


In November 2010, General Motors premiered a television commercial featuring footage of Knievel's Wembley Stadium crash in 1975, followed by Knievel getting onto his feet.