As a boy, I idolized the greatest motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel.
I watched in anticipation at every rev of the engine before a jump.
He laid it all on the line -- every time.
And he flew. Farther than anyone of his time.
Even when he did crash, although most horrifying, he managed to do it with some sort of surreal grace.
The man was a real Man's Man. A man with persistence, perseverance, and simply no fear whatsoever. He jumped because he could and, even more importantly, because he never listened to anyone who told him that he couldn't make it.
And now, at the age of 69, this great showman and Superman-esk entertainer has made his greatest jump ever -- into the afterlife.
An icon has died, but his memory lives on in every fan and child who was fortunate enough to wake up Christmas morning to brand new red-white-and-blue-spangled clad daredevil and stunt-cycle.
"America's Legendary Daredevil", immortalized in the Washington's Smithsonian Institution, will be missed.
In his honor, here are some video's of Evel Knievel's most famous motorcycle jumps.
Evel Knievel at Caesar's Palace
Evel Knievel's first jump on Wide World of Sports
1967 - Gardena, Ca. Jumping 15 cars