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Knievel was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999. Robert and Ann divorced in 1940, after the 1939 birth of their second child, Nicolas, known as Nic. Knievel and his brother were raised in Butte by their paternal grandparents, Ignatius and Emma Knievel.
At the age of eight, Knievel attended a Joie Chitwood auto daredevil show, to which he gave credit for his later career choice as a motorcycle daredevil.
Always looking for new thrills and challenges, Knievel participated in local professional rodeos and ski jumping events, including winning the Northern Rocky Mountain Ski Association Class A Men's ski jumping championship in 1959.
During the late 1950s, Knievel joined the United States Army.
Without work, Knievel began to get into trouble around Butte.
Knievel credited much of his later success to Stone and his book.
Knievel was successful as an insurance salesman (even selling insurance policies to several institutionalized mental patients ) and wanted recognition for his efforts.
The doctors said he could not race for at least six months.
To help support his family, he switched careers and sold insurance for the Combined Insurance Company of America, working for W. Stone suggested that Knievel read Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, a book that Stone wrote with Napoleon Hill.After the closure, Knievel went to work for Don Pomeroy at his motorcycle shop in Sunnyside, Washington.