Robert Nesta Marley was born on Feb. 6, 1945 in the rural community of Nine Miles in the parish of St. Ann, Jamaica.
In the late 1950s, Marley moved to Kingston, and settled in Trench Town.
In 1963, Marley and his childhood friend, Neville Livingston A.K.A. Bunny Wailer met Peter (Macintosh) Tosh. The trio went on to form The Wailing Wailers.
Marley soon adopted the Rastafarian way of life following the visit of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I to Jamaica in 1966.
In October 1973, The Wailers released their Burnin album. It featured some of Marley’s most celebrated hits including “Get Up Stand Up” and “I Shot The Sheriff”.
In 1974, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer left The Wailers. Marley released his Natty Dreads album, credited to Bob Marley And The Wailers, in October 1975.
By 1976, Marley was a global reggae ambassador who popularized Rastafarian beliefs around the world but his fame was not appreciated by all.
On Dec. 3, 1976, gunmen sprayed Marley’s Kingston home as he rehearsed with the Wailers. Miraculously, no one was killed. Marley escaped with minor gunshot wounds.
In early 1977, Marley moved to London where he lived for a year and a half.
That year, Bob Marley and The Wailers released the album Exodus, which along with its dance tune, “Jamming”, brought a new commercial success to the band.
Also, in 1977 Marley learned he had cancer in his big toe, following a football injury.
Marley continued to release albums and visited various countries in Africa and Europe.
He was on tour in the U.S. in 1980, when the learned that the cancer had spread throughout his body.
He fought the cancer with treatment in Germany. In May 1981, he left Germany to return to Jamaica but was forced to enter hospital in Miami.
He died on May 11, 1981 at the age of 36.
Jamaican Prime Minister Edward Seaga delivered the eulogy at Marley’s state funeral on May 21, 1981. He was buried in a chapel in Nine Miles with his Gibson Les Paul guitar.
Marley’s honours include the Jamaican Order of Merit, the country’s highest honour, for his outstanding contribution to his country’s culture, and the United Nations’ Medal of Peace.