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America's Daredevil Evel Knievel Dies at 69

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America's Daredevil Evel Knievel Dies at 69

Remembrances

America's Daredevil Evel Knievel Dies at 69

America's Daredevil Evel Knievel Dies at 69

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/16794979/16794971" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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In this image originally released by Warner Bros., Daredevil motorcyclist Evel Knievel is seen in 1977 in Viva Knievel!. The hard-living motorcycle daredevil whose exploits made him an international icon in the 1970s died Nov. 30, 2007. He was 69. AP/Warner Bros. hide caption

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AP/Warner Bros.

Evel Knievel, the greatest daredevil in American memory, has died, not from the trauma of a missed landing, but suffering from diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis. He was 69.

In the 1960s and '70s, no man made America — and the world — gawk and cringe and wonder the way Evel Knievel did.

Whether leaping on his customized Harley-Davidson over the fountain at Caesar's Palace — not so successfully — or riding a rocket in an attempt to jump Snake River Canyon, Robert Craig Knievel Jr. lived remarkably, and nearly died many times.

Kelly Knievel, his first son, talks with Robert Siegel.