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Stunt Legend Evel Knievel Dead at 69

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Nov 30, 2007 | 12:04pm EST

Legendary stuntman Evel Knievel has died just two days after settling an ongoing legal dispute with rapper Kanye West. He was 69.

The motorcycling icon, whose glittering white suit and risky bus and canyon jumping feats turned him into a household name around the world in the 1970s, has been in poor health for years following a liver transplant in 1999.

He spent the last decade battling diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis.

Knievel's bike-jumping successes were overshadowed by his failures--he hit the headlines after failing to clear Snake River Canyon on a rocket-powered cycle in 1974 and broke 40 bones when he spectacularly crashed during a stunt at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

The stuntman, real name Robert Craig Knievel, retired in 1980 but continued to make a good living protecting his image and endorsing a range of products.

He also maintained an annual Evel Knievel Days festival in Montana, which attracted thousands of fans from around the world.

He recently hit the headlines again after launching a lawsuit against rapper West, claiming the "Gold Digger" hitmaker had infringed upon his trademarked image by posing as a white-suited stuntman named Evel Kanyevel in his 2006 music video for "Touch The Sky."

The late stuntman and the rapper settled their legal dispute out of court earlier this week.

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