The world has lost another second generation icon as “Kaptain” Robbie Knievel – the son of stuntman legend Evel Knievel – has passed away at the age of 60. Robbie Knievel’s death was confirmed by a source close to the family who spoke to him TMZ, to announce that Knievel passed away Friday morning, peacefully in a hospice, surrounded by his daughters, Krysten and Kramen. Robbie Knievel battled pancreatic cancer, one of the most deadly forms of the disease.
Robert Edward Knievel II was born on May 7, 1962 to Robert Craig “Evel” Knievel and his first wife, Linda. Robbie was the third of Evel’s four children (two boys, two girls) and was named after his paternal grandfather. Robbie first made an impact on the world by taking his first bicycle jump at the age of four and riding his first motorcycle at the age of seven, following in his father’s footsteps perfectly. Evel Knievel first gave his son a part in his stunt show at the age of eight in no less than Madison Square Garden, NYC; by the age of 12 he was regularly touring with his father to warm up the audience in the pre-jump show. Though educated to high school, Robbie never graduated and went full-time in the family business of performing vehicle stunts; Evel initially resisted Robbie’s desire to do even bigger, longer jumps, but eventually gave his son the approval to continue.
Robbie Knievel broke with his father by choosing a Honda dirt bike as his main vehicle until the late 2000s, while Evel rose to fame by riding a much larger and heavier Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Robbie has recreated many of his father’s most famous jumps while also achieving fame and acclaim with his own stunts. Highlights included promotional jumps for both Pepsi (2003) and Coca-Cola (2008), with Knievel clearing 15 trucks and 24 truck cabs, respectively; jumping over 21 Hummer vehicles (2009) at the Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, Texas; a televised New Year’s Eve jump at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas to end what was a busy 2008 for Knievel, and even his last jump in 2011 at Coachella where he jumped 50 feet over a bunch of semi-trailer trucks.
Besides stunt work, Robbie Knievel was also in entertainment media. His jumps were often doubled as events on television, and he also starred in some reality series such as A&E’s Knievel’s wild ridewhile also opening a business venture, Knievel’s Custom Cycles, which sold custom bicycles and Knievel-themed merchandise.
RIP Robbie Knievel. We offer our condolences to his friends and family in their time of mourning.
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