The daredevil has passed away at age 69 after a long illness. From the AP:
Immortalized in the Washington’s Smithsonian Institution as
"America’s Legendary Daredevil," Knievel was best known for a failed
1974 attempt to jump Snake River Canyon on a rocket-powered cycle and a
spectacular crash at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. He suffered nearly
40 broken bones before he retired in 1980.
"I think he lived 20
years longer than most people would have" after so many injuries, said
his son Kelly Knievel, 47. "I think he willed himself into an extra
five or six years."
Fortunately, Knievel lives on, in rock operas, as the star of one awesomely terrible film, 1977’s "Viva Knievel!" (in which Gene Kelly can be found playing Knievel’s alcoholic mentor) and as the subject of a documentary, a televised biopic in which he was played by Sam Elliott and a theatrical one in which he was embodied by none other than George Hamilton.