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Robbie Knievel dies: What was the motorcycle daredevil’s cause of death?

The son of Evil Knievel, a motorcycle daredevil like his father, died Friday morning at the age of 60 in Nevada.

Joseph McMahon
Joseph McMahon
The son of Evil Knievel, a motorcycle daredevil like his father, died Friday morning at the age of 60 in Nevada.

After a long fight with pancreatic cancer, the stuntman passed away roughly 15 years after his father, who died in 2007 in Florida. Knievel leaves behind three daughters, who were by his side at the end. Kelly Knievel, his sister, reported the news to The Associated Press, “Daredevlis don’t live easy lives,” she said. “He was a great daredevil. People don’t really understand how scary it is what my brother did.”

A life dedicated to daredevil motorcycle stunts

Knievel made one of his most famous jumps in 1989 when he cleared the Caesar Palace fountains in Las Vegas. The jump was a tribute to his father, who had tried the same stunt in 1967, but which hadn’t ended as well. Evil Knievel didn’t clear the 141 feet and ended up skidding into the Dunes parking lot. He suffered a broken femur and pelvis along with fractures to his hip, ankles and wrist along with a concussion. He was reported to in a coma for 29 days after the accident.

Robbie Knievel also had his share of accidents. In 1999 he broke several ribs when trying to jump the Grand Canyon. His father had tried a similar stunt 25 years before at the Snake River Canyon in Idaho. Both daredevils had problems with their parachutes on the jump, but father and son survived the crashes.

Just like his father, many of his jumps sent him to the hospital with cracked bones. In a 2019 essay he wrote, “I am lucky I am still able to walk.” Robbie Knievel took after his father at a very young age and at 8 years old he performed in his first show with his dad at Madison Square Garden.

He continued in his father’s footsteps and made a life out of motorcycle jumping, “I do it for the excitement and the quick money. I think I was born to be a motorcycle stuntman,” he once said.


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