Linda Knievel, born on October 17, 1938, is best known as the former wife of the legendary stunt performer and entertainer, Robert Craig Knievel, commonly known as Evel Knievel. Linda had a beautiful journey by her husband’s side, witnessing the highs and lows of his death-defying career and his rise to international stardom. Together, the couple shared four children: Alicia, Robbie, Kelly, and Tracey, all of whom have had their brush with fame and daredevilry, particularly Robbie.
The couple got married in 1959 after two years of dating and remained together for 38 years until they eventually divorced in 1997. Despite being married to one of the most famous stuntmen of all time, Linda Knievel always managed to keep her personal life private. As the matriarch of the Knievel family, Linda has stayed strong in the face of tragedies and loss, such as the death of her son, the daring daredevil Robbie Knievel.
In addition to her association with the Knievel dynasty, Linda has also been involved in documentaries and film projects related to her late husband’s career, such as Being Evel (2015) and The Last of the Gladiators (1988). As a central figure in the life of Evel Knievel, Linda Knievel’s story offers an insightful look into the triumphs and tribulations that come with being part of an iconic family legacy.
Linda Knievel, former wife of the legendary daredevil Evel Knievel, played a significant role in her husband’s life and their children’s upbringing. Evel Knievel, born Robert Edward Knievel II on October 17, 1938, in Butte, Montana, became widely known for his audacious motorcycle jumps and fearless personality. From a young age, Knievel exhibited a fervor for speed and excitement, engaging in various ventures such as ski jumping and ice hockey.
Butte, Montana, where Knievel spent his early years, is a mining city known as “The Richest Hill on Earth.” Growing up in this environment played a part in shaping Knievel’s tenacious spirit and ambition. His love for danger and penchant for mischief persisted throughout his adolescence. Excelling in track and field as well as hockey, Knievel was a skilled athlete, but a poor student. These attributes would later become the foundation for his daredevil career.
Linda and Evel Knievel married in 1959 and raised four children together. Their marriage lasted until they divorced in 1997, a testament to the bond they shared despite Evel’s risky profession. Throughout the years, Linda Knievel remained supportive and strong for her family, establishing a stable foundation in their lives.
Career as a Stuntman
Linda Knievel is the mother of the late American daredevil Robbie Knievel and the wife of the legendary stuntman Evel Knievel. Evel Knievel, born Robert Craig Knievel, was a highly skilled and daring motorcycle stuntman known for his fearless performances and thrilling stunts. Throughout his career, Evel Knievel attempted over 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps and succeeded in making a lasting impact on the world of extreme sports.
Evel Knievel started his career as a stunt performer in the 1960s, rapidly gaining popularity for his death-defying jumps on his Harley-Davidson motorcycles. He frequently used the Harley-Davidson XR-750 to perform his motorcycle stunts. Knievel’s fearlessness and showmanship helped make him a household name and earned him a large following, inspiring many future stunt performers and extreme sports enthusiasts.
Evel Knievel managed to set several world records throughout his career. Some of his most memorable jumps include a 1967 Caesar’s Palace Fountain jump, where he successfully cleared the 141-foot-long fountain, and the attempt to jump Snake River Canyon in 1974 using a rocket-powered motorcycle. Though not all of his stunts were successful, Evel Knievel never backed down from a challenge and continued to push the limits of his abilities.
As a professional stunt performer, Evel Knievel faced numerous injuries throughout his career. He suffered over 433 bone fractures, earning him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most bones broken in a lifetime. Despite the physical toll his profession took on his body, Knievel remained dedicated to the art of motorcycle stunting.
Evel Knievel was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999, cementing his legacy in the world of extreme sports and motorcycle stunts. His influence can still be felt today, as many stunt performers and extreme sports enthusiasts continue to be inspired by his fearless approach, undeniable skill, and unyielding determination.
Caesars Palace Jump
On December 31, 1967, Evel Knievel attempted one of his most famous stunts, the Caesars Palace jump, located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle, Knievel tried to jump the fountains located outside the hotel. Unfortunately, the stunt ended in disaster as he lost control and crashed, resulting in multiple fractures and a brain concussion.
Snake River Canyon Jump
One of Evel Knievel’s most ambitious stunts was the Snake River Canyon jump, which took place on September 8, 1974. Utilizing a rocket-powered vehicle called the Skycycle X-2, Knievel attempted to jump the deep canyon in Idaho. Though the canyon jump was ultimately unsuccessful due to a parachute malfunction, Knievel managed to walk away with only minor injuries after a dramatic rescue.
Grand Canyon Jump
The Grand Canyon jump was a lifelong dream of Evel Knievel, but it never materialized into reality. However, Knievel’s son, Robbie Knievel, followed in his father’s footsteps and became a successful daredevil known as Kaptain Robbie Knievel. Robbie fulfilled his father’s dream by completing a successful motorcycle jump over a portion of the Grand Canyon on May 20, 1999. This jump helped cement the Knievel legacy as one of the most daring stunt families in history.
Linda and Evel Relationship
Linda Knievel and Evel Knievel’s relationship began in the 1950s. They dated for two years before getting married on September 5th, 1959. Their marriage lasted for 38 years before they ultimately decided to divorce on December 10th, 1997. Throughout their relationship, Evel Knievel, considered a daredevil, achieved great fame for his ambitious jumps and stunts.
The highs and lows of their relationship were depicted in the 1971 biopic film “Evel Knievel.” The couple’s life took a tumultuous turn when it was alleged that Evel Knievel subjected Linda and their children to abuse and drug usage. This accusation came to light in the book “Evel Knievel on Tour,” which was authored by promoter Shelly Saltman.
Unfortunately, the abuse was not the only issue that Linda had to face during her marriage to Evel. Legal troubles plagued the Knievel household when Evel was arrested and ordered to stand trial for weapons possession charges in 1994.
Although Linda Knievel and Linda Evans share the first name Linda and both experienced relationships with famous men, they are not the same person. Linda Evans is an actress, and her romantic history includes a marriage to John Derek, an actor, and director whom she divorced in 1974.
In summary, Linda Knievel’s relationship with Evel Knievel was conflict-ridden with many challenges including allegations of abuse and legal issues. Despite these, the couple spent nearly four decades together before their divorce in 1997.
Family and Personal Life
Linda Knievel was married to the famous American stunt performer and entertainer Evel Knievel. The couple tied the knot in 1959 and remained together for 38 years before finally ending their marriage in 1997. During their time together, they had four children: two daughters, Tracey and Alicia, and two sons, Robbie and Kelly.
Robbie Knievel, like his father, pursued a career in daredevil stunts, becoming a successful motorcycle stunt performer himself. He has made a name for himself in the world of extreme sports, often performing thrilling jumps and stunts that further solidified the Knievel legacy.
Kelly Knievel, on the other hand, chose a different career path and became a prominent business executive. He has been involved in various ventures and projects, including overseeing his father’s brand and legacy. Despite not being a stunt performer, his professional endeavors have still contributed greatly to the Knievel family’s achievements.
Among the Knievel grandchildren, Krystal Kennedy and Krysten Knievel have both stepped into the public eye. Krystal is the daughter of Robbie and has been involved in television appearances and interviews related to her family’s legacy. Krysten, Kelly’s daughter, has been recognized for her philanthropic work, crafting a different kind of legacy for the Knievel family through charitable deeds.
Despite the divorces and separations within the Knievel family, it is evident that their bond remains strong as their various ventures continue to celebrate Evel Knievel’s iconic career. The family’s involvement in maintaining Evel’s legacy has even attracted the attention of Hollywood, with actor Matthew McConaughey showing interest in portraying the legendary daredevil in a possible biopic.
Throughout the years, the Knievel family’s diverse accomplishments have served as a testament to Evel Knievel’s lasting impact on American popular culture. Linda Knievel, as the former wife of Evel and mother to their children, played a significant role in supporting her family as they navigated both the thrilling and challenging aspects of their lives in the public eye.
Evel Knievel, born as Robert Craig Knievel, made a name for himself as an American stunt performer and entertainer. He became famous for his daring motorcycle jumps, attempting over 75 ramp-to-ramp jumps throughout his career. Evel’s rebellious and fearless spirit earned him a reputation as a rule-breaker and risk-taker. In recognition of his accomplishments, he was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999.
Evel’s life and daredevil career have been chronicled in multiple documentaries, including “Being Evel” and “I Am Evel Knievel.” These films showcase his extraordinary feats and the impact he had on the world of extreme sports. Despite the injuries he sustained and the controversial moments in his career, his legacy as a pioneer in the field of motorcycle stunts is undeniable.
Linda Knievel was briefly part of Evel’s story, as his first wife and the mother of their four children, including Robbie Knievel. Robbie followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a successful motorcycle stunt performer himself. In this way, Evel’s passion for pushing limits and breaking boundaries in his performances lives on through his family and continues to inspire generations of daredevils and extreme athletes.
Evel Knievel’s legacy remains influential today, not just as a motorcycle stunt performer, but as a symbol of courage and resilience. His adventurous spirit and fearless determination to defy expectations have left an indelible mark on the world of sports and popular culture.
Health and Passing
Linda Knievel, born on October 17, 1938, was married to the famous daredevil Evel Knievel for 38 years. The couple had four children together, including their son Robbie Knievel, who followed in his father’s footsteps as a daredevil. Tragically, Robbie Knievel passed away on January 13, 2023, at the age of 60 due to pancreatic cancer.
Robbie’s passing was a devastating loss for the family, as he had also created a legacy of thrilling performances in his career. He spent his final days in hospice care in Reno, Nevada, USA, surrounded by his loved ones.
As for Linda Knievel, she is believed to be living a fulfilling life as of 2023. Given her age, it is crucial to prioritize her health and well-being. Pancreatic cancer, which took the life of her son Robbie, is a dangerous health affliction that warrants serious attention.
Having experienced her son’s battle with pancreatic cancer, Linda may have become more aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, early detection, and regular check-ups. However, further information about her current health status remains unknown.
It is essential for friends, family, and fans to offer their support and care for Linda Knievel during this difficult time. While the details of any potential memorial services or funeral arrangements for Robbie Knievel have not been disclosed, it is crucial to respect the family’s privacy as they mourn their loss.