Famous motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel has died, according to his website. Though no cause of death has been given, Knievel has been in poor health for several years. He suffered from diabetes, hepatitis C, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a condition that scarred his lungs. He was 69 years old.
Only two days before his death, it was reported that Knievel and Kanye West amicably settled a federal lawsuit that the stuntman brought last year over the use of Knievel’s trademarked image in a video for Kanye’s song “Touch the Sky.” In it, West took on the persona of “Evel Kanyevel” and tries to jump a rocket-powered motorcycle over a canyon – an apparent nod to Knievel’s failed attempt to jump Idaho’s Snake River Canyon in 1974.
According to the Associated Press, Knievel and West recently met in the motorcycle legend’s Clearwater, Fla., condo, and Knievel also expressed concern for West, who was mourning the loss of his mother who died suddenly earlier this month. “I know he’s had some tough times the past few weeks, and I hope things work out,” Knievel was quoted as saying.
Dying at that age isn’t really old. It’s not so young where it’s shocking, but considering he was up and about and meeting with Kanye West last week, one would think he was doing reasonably well until the very end. Our thoughts are with his family.
Picture note by Jaybird: Here’s Evel Knievel leaping over nine cars on his motorcycle at Madison Square Garden on August 7th, 1971 Images thanks to WENN.