On This Day

Evel Knievel

Motorcycle Daredevil Evel Knievel

Full Name: Robert Craig Knievel
Profession: Motorcycle Daredevil

United States of America

Biography: Evel Knievel was a daredevil stunt performer whose stunts made him a famous pop culture figure in the 1960s and 1970s. His outrageous jumps on a motorcycle were as famous for their failure as their success.

Knievel's first major stunt was his attempt to jump across the fountains at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. He just failed, breaking a few bones but film of the jump was played on TV and brought him nationwide fame.

In 1971 Knievel set a new world record jumping over 19 cars in Houston. In another stunt in 1974 he famously tried to cross Snake River Canyon, Idaho, with a special steam-powered rocket. However equipment failure stopped him.

In 1975 he made an attempt to jump over 13 double-decker buses in front of 10,000 spectators at Wembley Stadium, London. He just failed, hitting the 13th bus and injuring his vertebrae. Throughout his stunt career Knievel sort to increase his profile, he donned a flamboyant caped costume, merchandised toys of himself and a feature film was made of his life starring George Hamilton.

Born: October 17, 1938
Birthplace: Butte, Montana, USA

Generation: Silent Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Tiger
Star Sign: Libra

Died: November 30, 2007 (aged 69)
Cause of Death: Pulmonary disease

Married Life

  • 1959-09-05 Motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel (20) weds Linda Joan Bork
  • 1997-12-10 Motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel (59) divorces Linda Joan Bork after 38 years of marriage
  • 1999-11-19 Motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel (61) weds Krystal Kennedy at Caesars Palace hotel in Las Vegas

Historical Events

  • 1967-05-30 Robert "Evel" Knievel's motorcycle jumps 16 automobiles in Gardena, California
  • 1967-12-31 Evel Knievel fails in his attempt to jump the Caesar's Palace Fountain, Las Vegas, breaking his pelvis, femur, wrist, hip and both ankles
  • 1974-09-08 Evil Knievel attempts to jump the Snake River Canyon in Idaho but fails, escaping with minor injuries

Famous Americans