Steve Brodie became famous in 1886 as the first person to survive a jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, but it's far from clear that he ever actually jumped. Many believed he had someone throw a dummy off the bridge while he swam out toward the spot where it landed, surfacing near a boat that pulled him out of the water. Whether or not he really did the deed, he took full advantage of the celebrity that came his way as a result, opening a successful bar that traded on his reputation and starring in a play that climaxed with him leaping off the bridge to save a girl's life. And his name lived on long after he did. In 1949, almost half a century after his passing, he was the subject of a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Watch it here!
(Curiously, an 1886 NY Times account of his supposed feat described him, without any further elaboration, as a "long-distance pedestrian".)
UPDATE: As the Fensk pointed out, his wife's name was, quite appropriately, Bridget!