Evel Knievel Quote
I really think we should pass a law in every state, I don't care whether it takes the independence away from an old person or not. You shouldn't be driving a car if you're over the age of 80. Maybe even less than that.
There is no absurdity so palpable but that it may be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to inculcate it before the age of five, by constantly repeating it with an air of great solemnit...
Evel Knievel was born in Butte, Montana. Raised by his paternal grandparents, Knievel was inspired to become a motorcycle daredevil after attending a Joie Chitwood auto daredevil show. He left high school early to work in the copper mines but was later fired for causing a city-wide power outage. After adopting the nickname "Evel Knievel," he participated in rodeos, ski jumping events, and served in the U.S. Army before marrying Linda Joan Bork and starting a semi-pro hockey team. To support his family, Knievel started the Sur-Kill Guide Service and later worked as an insurance salesman. Eventually, he opened a Honda motorcycle dealership in Washington but faced difficulties promoting Japanese imports. After the dealership closed, Knievel worked at a motorcycle shop where he learned motocross stunts that would later contribute to his daredevil career.
Knievel's most famous stunt was an attempt to jump the fountains at Caesars Palace, which resulted in severe injuries. Despite never successfully jumping the Grand Canyon, Knievel became a legendary figure, breaking numerous records and suffering hundreds of bone fractures throughout his career.
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.
Knievel sought to profit from his image through endorsements and marketing deals. American Eagle Motorcycles signed him, and his popularity grew with young boys. From 1972 to 1977, Ideal Toy Company sold over $125 million worth of Knievel toys. Knievel's fame led to TV appearances and partnerships with companies like AMF and Harley-Davidson. However, after an assault conviction and jail time, he lost endorsements and declared bankruptcy. Despite a decline in his daredevil career, Knievel made a marketing comeback in the 1990s and continued to be involved in various ventures.
Knievel died on November 30, 2007, at the age of 69 due to diabetes and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. He was buried in his hometown of Butte, Montana. Posthumously, Knievel has been honored through various exhibits, a museum, and tribute jumps. His legacy also lives on in television commercials featuring his iconic stunts.