Robbie Knievel, stuntman son of Evel Knievel, dies at 60
The second-generation daredevil jumped over planes, trains, and automobiles — as well as a portion of the Grand Canyon — on his motocross bike.
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Robbie Knievel, the stunt performer famous for his record-breaking, bone-breaking motorcycle jumps and for fearlessly following in the path of his daredevil father, Evel Knievel, died Friday at 60.
His brother, Kelly Knievel, confirmed the news to the Associated Press and said he passed away at a Reno hospice after battling pancreatic cancer.
“He was a great daredevil,” Kelly told the AP. “People don’t really understand how scary it is what my brother did.” He added, “Injuries took quite a toll on him.”
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“Kaptain Robbie Knievel” was born into the business, performing with his father at a Madison Square Garden event at the age of 8. He would go on to set 20 world records and complete hundreds of ambitious and dangerous jumps, some of them paying tribute to his father’s daredevilry. In one of his most famous stunts, Knievel successfully jumped the fountains at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in 1989, two decades after his father had failed in his attempt and seriously injured himself in the crash. (While Evel used the Harley-Davidson XR-750 motorcycle, Knievel relied on the Honda CR500 motocross bike.)
In 1999, Knievel cleared a portion of the Grand Canyon, which was an unrealized dream of his father’s. While he set a personal record of 228 feet, Knievel wiped out after landing and broke his leg. During his colorful career, he jumped over planes (five military jets in a row), trains (an oncoming locomotive), and automobiles (30 limos in a row), as well as the gap between two 13-story buildings. He also made a notable jump over fireworks at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve 2008. He completed his last jump in 2011.
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Knievel also headlined the 2005 A&E reality series Knievel’s Wild Ride. He is survived by three daughters: Krysten Knievel Hansson, Karmen Knievel, and Maria Collins.