Evel Knievel

Evel Knievel

American motorcyclist, stuntman
Date of Birth: 17.10.1938
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Evel Knievel
  2. Early Life
  3. The Birth of Evel Knievel
  4. Motorcycle Stunts and Fame
  5. The Caesars Palace Jump
  6. Later Years and Legacy
  7. Death and Family
  8. Legacy

Biography of Evel Knievel

Evel Knievel was an American motorcyclist and daredevil who gained fame in the late 1960s to early 1980s as the "American Daredevil." He is best known for his four jumps, including his 1974 attempt to jump Snake River Canyon in Twin Falls, Idaho, which remains one of the most popular sporting events on ABC. Knievel also held several records and was known for his numerous injuries, having broken a total of 435 bones throughout his career.

Evel Knievel

Early Life

Robert Craig Knievel was born on October 17, 1938, in Butte, Montana. After his parents divorced in 1940, he was raised by his father's parents. At the age of eight, Knievel attended a stunt show that inspired him to pursue motorcycle stunts in the future. He worked various jobs after school and even got fired from one for causing a power outage while performing a stunt with an excavator.

Evel Knievel

The Birth of Evel Knievel

Knievel received his nickname from a clever police officer. In 1956, he crashed his motorcycle while fleeing from the police and was charged with reckless driving. In jail, he happened to share a cell with a man named Knofel, known as "Awful Knofel." Another inmate, mistaking him for Knofel, referred to him as "Evel Knievel" instead of "Evel Knievel." Knievel purposely misspelled the name to avoid association with evil.

Motorcycle Stunts and Fame

After serving in the army, Knievel returned home and married Linda Bork. He worked as an insurance agent and sold motorcycles but struggled to make a living. To support his family, Knievel engaged in questionable activities, including poaching, until he discovered his talent for motorcycle stunts. He gradually became more daring and began jumping over cars, which attracted larger audiences to his shows.

The Caesars Palace Jump

In 1968, Knievel attempted to jump over the fountains at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Although he successfully cleared the fountains, his landing was unsuccessful and resulted in multiple injuries, including a coma that lasted 29 days. Despite the accident, the footage of the jump, which Knievel had filmed himself, became a huge success when purchased by ABC for broadcast.

Later Years and Legacy

Knievel continued to perform and set records, but his health started to decline. He underwent a liver transplant in the late 1990s due to complications from hepatitis C. In 2005, he was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a debilitating lung disease. Knievel also suffered two strokes and battled diabetes.

Death and Family

Evel Knievel passed away on November 30, 2007, at his home in Clearwater, Florida, at the age of 69. He experienced breathing difficulties and died before emergency services could transport him to the hospital. He was buried in his hometown of Butte, Montana.

Knievel was married twice. His first marriage lasted 38 years and ended in 1997. He had four children with his first wife. In 1999, he married his long-time friend Crystal Kennedy, but they divorced two years later. They later reconciled and lived together until Knievel's death. Knievel left his estate to his second wife.


One of Knievel's sons, Robbie Knievel, followed in his father's footsteps and became a professional motorcycle stunt performer. Robbie achieved numerous records and performed over 250 jumps. The Moto X World Championship established a race in Evel Knievel's honor in San Diego, USA.

Evel Knievel's wax figure, wearing one of his iconic costumes, is displayed in Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Las Vegas. In 2007, the movie "Ghost Rider," starring Nicolas Cage, was released, drawing inspiration from Knievel's incredible life and rumors surrounding him.