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Evel Knievel, legendary daredevil, dies

  • Story Highlights
  • Evel Knievel dead at 69, according to his Web site
  • Knievel a famous motorcycle daredevil, tried to jump Snake River Canyon
  • Knievel image spawned toys, merchandise, appeared on magazine covers
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(CNN) -- Evel Knievel, the motorcycle daredevil whose stunts -- including an attempted leap over Idaho's Snake River Canyon -- made him a popular cultural figure, is dead, according to his Web site, He was 69.

Over his career, Knievel was said to have broken practically every bone in his body -- some multiple times. With his red-white-and-blue jumpsuits, shock of hair and stone-faced mien, he was a fixture on ABC's program "Wide World of Sports" in the 1970s, his stunts perennial ratings-grabbers.

Knievel's most famous stunt was probably an attempt to jump the quarter-mile wide Snake River Canyon in 1974 on his rocket-powered "Sky-Cycle." (He had hoped to jump the Grand Canyon, but couldn't get permission.) The attempt failed, but the publicity was priceless. Photo See photos of the motorcycle daredevil »

His fame even spawned a couple of movies. George Hamilton portrayed the daredevil In the biographical "Evel Knievel" in 1971. Knievel played himself in 1977's fictionalized "Viva Knievel!"

Robert Craig Knievel was born October 17, 1938, in Butte, Montana.


Earlier this week, Knievel amicably settled a lawsuit with rap star Kanye West over West's use of a persona called "Evel Kanyevel" in his video for "Touch the Sky."

"I was very satisfied and so was he," Knievel told The Associated Press. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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