Evel Knievel Dies at 69

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Heinz Kluetmeier / Sports Illustrated

Daredevil Evel Knievel

Motorcycle stuntman Robert "Evel Knievel" died in Florida Friday at the age of 69.

Born in Butte, Montana, Oct. 17, 1938, Knievel made a name for himself for his daredevil feats, jumping rows of vehicles, natural chasms and other obstacles. He claimed to have broken every bone in his body at least twice.

The death was reported by Butte architect and Knievel's graphic design artist Bob Corbett, who said Knievel's wife, Krystal Kennedy, rushed him to the hospital earlier today.

According to Corbett, who did all the promotional posters and pins for Butte's annual Evel Knievel Days each summer, Knievel was suffering from a lung ailment, pulmonary fibrosis. "When you spoke with him, it was an effort for him to finish a sentence without taking another breath," he said. "But he faithfully came to Evel Knievel Days in Butte, even though the severe altitude change, from sea level to mile-high, was especially hard on him. But he was tough."

Despite his poor health, Corbett recalled, Knievel wanted to attempt one last record jump with his motorcycle. So Corbett did a graphic rendering of several views of the proposed 320-foot, ramp-to-ramp jump, including side views and helmet views. "After you see this, you will quit talking about making this jump."

He said Knievel looked at the renderings and exclaimed simply, "Holy s---."

Official bio details on his website: EvelKnievel.com