Dude. The greatest stuntman of my generation finally cashed it in. Oddly enough, he didn't go out in a fiery crash. Who can forget the "abc's Wide World of Sports" intro replaying his ill-fated jump of the Caesar's Palace fountain? Or the anti-climactic Snake River Canyon attempt (after he was not allowed near the Grand Canyon)?
An entire generation of would-be daredevils (myself included) was inspired to ride recklessly and build ramps to jump ditches, wagons, culverts, garbage cans or whatever we could scrounge. Johnson & Johnson made a FORTUNE in bandages and medicine off of my neighborhood alone.
And for the record, my 'Evel Knievel' figure with motorcycle and gyro was an 'action figure', NOT a doll. He was MY generation's 'G.I. Joe', a hero/hapless victim subjected to whatever daring stunts or poorly executed adventures we could dream up. (Note: per Sam Anthony, the 'Steve Austin:Six Million Dollar Man' was also an 'action figure' and not a doll.)
Burials. Drownings. High-impact collisions. Parachuting from trees.(For the record, the wire-reinforced soft vinyl construction of the Evel Knievel was nowhere NEAR as durable or flame-resistant as the G.I. Joe)
Here, for your enjoyment, is a video tribute: