Evel Knievel prepares to be launched across Snake River Canyon.

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All my life people have been waiting around to watch me die.
Evel Knievel

Robert “Evel” Knievel was born in Butte, Montana, and saw his first motorcycle stunt show at the age of eight.

Later, he was fired from one of his first jobs driving an earth mover at a mine after he popped a wheelie with the massive vehicle and crashed it into power lines, knocking out electricity to the whole city.

He started going by “Evel” after a brief stint in jail alongside one William “Awful” Knofel. He bounced from thrill to thrill, winning ski-jumping championships, joining the army, and even hitchhiking to Washington, D.C., with a petition to end elk culling in Yellowstone National Park. Read more…

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Evel Knievel’s most famous stunt was actually a failure