63-year-old Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to successfully go over Niagara Falls in 1901, when she took the plunge inside a wooden barrel. A schoolteacher by trade, Taylor had found herself in financial trouble, and conceived the stunt in the hope that it would gain her fame and fortune. She had a specially designed barrel filled with padding, and after testing it with an ordinary house cat, went over the Horseshoe Falls section of Niagara herself on October 24, 1901. Amazingly, she survived the 173-foot plunge with little more than a small gash on her head.
You can see videos of some of the more recent daredevils in this list. Link