15 Reasons Why Evel Knievel Is Still Awesome

This fall, the world's most infamous daredevil will have been gone for three years. For no reason whatsoever, we've decided to take a look back. This, in a nutshell, is the life of a daredevil. This is Evel Knievel.

The following facts come courtesy of MotorcycleInsurance.org. To see their cool infographic built around this information, click here. To see this list in a single, long-loading page, click here.

15 Reasons Why Evel Knievel Is Still AwesomeS

Born Robert Craig Knievel on October 17, 1938, Knievel was nicknamed "Evil" by a police officer who locked him in prison for stealing hubcaps.

15 Reasons Why Evel Knievel Is Still AwesomeS

Knievel got his first motorcycle at age 13. He then crashed it into a neighbor's garage while showing off. The crash started a fire.

15 Reasons Why Evel Knievel Is Still AwesomeS

Knievel claims his first motorcycle jump was a publicity stunt to save a failing Honda dealership. He attempted to jump his bike over two mountain lions and a crate of rattlesnakes. He landed in the snakes.

15 Reasons Why Evel Knievel Is Still AwesomeS

On New Year's Day in 1968, Knievel attempted to jump 151 feet over the fountains at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. He crashed, breaking his pelvis, hip, and multiple ribs. He spent 29 days in a coma. And lived to ride again.



Photo Credit: Las Vegas News Bureau/AP

15 Reasons Why Evel Knievel Is Still AwesomeS

At the height of his career, Knievel successfully jumped once a week and earned $25,000 per jump.

15 Reasons Why Evel Knievel Is Still AwesomeS

Knievel wore a white outfit with red and blue trim because he wanted to appear different from Hells' Angels bikers, who almost exclusively wore black leather.

15 Reasons Why Evel Knievel Is Still AwesomeS

In 1971, Knievel set a record by leaping his motorcycle over 19 cars. The record stood for 27 years.

15 Reasons Why Evel Knievel Is Still AwesomeS

The Guinness Book of World Records once erroneously reported that Knievel had broken a total of 433 bones in his lifetime. The number was later revised to 35.



Photo Credit: eBay/Canosaurus

15 Reasons Why Evel Knievel Is Still AwesomeS

Not awesome: Knievel was an alcoholic. At the height of his alcoholism, he drank half a fifth of whiskey and beer chasers every day.



Photo Credit: eBay/Canosaurus

15 Reasons Why Evel Knievel Is Still AwesomeS

Knievel owned a diamond-encrusted walking cane that he filled with Wild Turkey.

15 Reasons Why Evel Knievel Is Still AwesomeS

Not awesome, just amazing: All of Knievel's records have been broken by his son, Robbie, a.k.a. Evel Knievel II.



Photo Credit: UPI/FILES

15 Reasons Why Evel Knievel Is Still AwesomeS

Over the course of his career, Knievel spent so much time planning for crashes that he effectively practiced for failure more than success.

15 Reasons Why Evel Knievel Is Still AwesomeS

Not awesome: Knievel had a hell of a temper. He once kicked his son in the face after he caught him stealing alcohol.

15 Reasons Why Evel Knievel Is Still AwesomeS

Knievel once went bankrupt. He described this time as "tough." To survive, he sold two yachts, five mink coats, and 13 boats.



Photo Credit: Jim Stern for USA Today

15 Reasons Why Evel Knievel Is Still AwesomeS

Following his retirement from stuntwork, Knievel suffered from or underwent: A stroke, bleeding esophagus, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (incurable lung disease), broken ribs, a broken hip, spinal-fusion surgery, and a liver transplant. At the end of his life, he was taking more than 50 pills a day and had a morphine pump attached to his abdomen. He died November 30, 2007.