He died today at the age of 69. The AP reports, "He had been in failing health for years,
suffering from diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable condition
that scarred his lungs." Reports also say that Knievel became a born-again Christian earlier this year. I wish peace and condolences for his family and friends.
Like most kids who grew up during the 1970's, I had an Evel Knievel action figure and motorcycle, and my dad and I watched his daredevil jumps many times on ABC's Wide World of Sports. I remember the Snake River Canyon jump and the hype that surrounded it. The jump was carried over closed-circuit TV, not broadcast television. In order to see it where I lived, you had to go to Beaumont and pay to get a seat at the Civic Center, where the jump was shown live on a huge projection television system. Needless to say, the failed jump proved to be a huge disappointment for my friends who attended the event.
Here is Evel himself narrating a short video of what he did best: