Thursday, December 6, 2018

Looking Back... Kitty O'Neil

It was on this day (Dec. 6) in 1976 that professional stuntwoman Kitty O'Neil set a record for land speed by a female driver. It was in Oregon's Alvord Desert that Kitty hit 512 miles per hour.

Childhood diseases left her deaf and nearly killed her. She became a champion diver at a young age. Her work later as a Hollywood stuntwoman was featured in TV shows like Quincy, Baretta and The Bionic Woman along with movies like Smokey and the Bandit, The Blues Brothers and Airport '77. 

She set a record for the highest stunt fall by a woman (105 feet).  She has held as many as 22 speed records on land and water.

A movie was made about her life in 1979 titled Silent Victory: The Kitty O'Neil Story.  She died Nov. 2, 2018 from pneumonia at the age of 72. Read more about her amazing life in a Washington Post article here. Below is a video report on Kitty from the Midco Sports Network put together in 2015.

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