How Did Bob Marley Die? The Theories Revolving his Death

Bob Marley is one of the most celebrated musicians and performers of all time. He was born on the 6th of February, 1945. The singer grew up in violence and poverty. He was just 11 when he moved to Trench Town, one of the poorest slums in Kingston.

Bob learned about music and Rastafarianism from his friend Neville Livingston (Bunny Wailer). His fandom was huge and spread all around the world. Bob’s songs still remain popular and are often termed as classic.

Unfortunately, the singer died at a very young age of 36 years.

Here’s everything to know about Bob Marley’s Death.

How Did Bob Marley Die? 

Bob Marley bid goodbye to the world on the 11th of May, 1981, in Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, Florida. It is said that he died from an acral lentiginous melanoma, which is a form of skin cancer.

Marley was diagnosed with this disease in 1977 when it had started under a nail of his toe. He first discovered it the same year while playing football. He suffered a foot injury which worsened than usual and caused him a lot of pain. A visit to the doctor helped him diagnose his condition. He was advised to have his toe amputated to stop the cancer from spreading to other parts of his body.

However, his Rastafarian faith did not let him buy this offer from the doctor as this faith considers it a sin to remove any part of the body. He instead agreed to a skin graft. But unfortunately, it did not stop the disease from spreading to all his body parts.

When Marley Collapsed Jogging 

Cancer spread throughout Marley’s body by 1980. He even collapsed while jogging in Central Park during his final tour. Marley played his last gig in Pittsburgh in September 1980. Afterward, he canceled all the remaining live dates and flew to Germany for a diet-based treatment under Dr. Josef Issels.

Unfortunately, the treatment did not show any progress, which made Marley fly home to Jamaica. His condition worsened on the flight, and he was rushed to hospital on his arrival in Miami. The singer took his last breath in the hospital, leaving the whole world in despair.

There’s Another Theory Too 

There is another controversial theory about Bob Marley’s death.

It claims that Bob Marley was murdered by the CIA due to his popular political presence in Jamaica. It further suggests that the CIA was behind the attempted assassination at Hope Road that Marley experienced in 1976. After failing to kill him, they attempted different methods to end his life.

According to this theory, Carl Colby, the son of late CIA director, William Colby, gifted Marley a pair of boots, and when he put them, a radioactive copper wire inside pricked his toe, becoming his cause of cancer.

Marley was given a State Funeral 

After his death, Bob Marley was given a state funeral in Jamaica on the 21st of May, 1981. The then Prime Minister, Edward Seaga, delivered the eulogy. He was buried in a chapel near his birthplace. His Gibson Les Paul guitar was also buried with him.

Seaga remembered Marley’s voice as having an omnipresent cry in the electronic world. He also stated that Marley had majestic look, sharp features, and prancing style that etched on the landscape of everyone’s eyes.

“Bob Marley was never seen. He was an experience that left an indelible imprint with each encounter. Such a man cannot be erased from the mind. He is part of the collective consciousness of the nation.” 

Fans Don’t Believe Marley Succumbed to Skin Cancer 

Many of Marley’s fans still cannot come to terms with the fact that their favorite singer lost his life to skin cancer. He discovered a lump on his toe and ignored it until the pain became unbearable. Marley even sought treatment in London before traveling to Germany for his concerts.

It is claimed that by then, the doctors removed two tumors from his brain and treated him for metastatic melanoma that had spread throughout his body.

Despite the many claims and theories, no concrete evidence has been established about the cause of Marley’s death. Even today, there is so much speculation regarding his death.

Some Little-known Facts about Bob Marley 

  • Although Bob Marley was a lifelong promoter of the Rastafarian religion, he later converted to Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity. It happened shortly before his death. Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity has the biggest bible of any Christian sect.
  • Bob Marley, his manager, and his wife were wounded by unknown gunmen on the 3rd of December, 1976, inside Marley’s home. The incident took place two days before a free concert organized by the Jamaican Prime Minister to ease tension between two fighting political groups.
  • Marley married Alpharita Constantia ‘Rita’ Anderson in Kingston, Jamaica. The marriage took place on the 10th of February, 1966.
  • Marley had many children. Four of them were with his wife, Rita, two of them adopted from Rita’s previous relationship, and several others with different women. According to his official website, Marley has 11 children.
  • Before he was a singer, Bob Marley was a palm reader. When he was only 4, his parents discovered that when Marley read palms, all his predictions would come true. But Bob stopped reading palms when he was 7.
  • Before his death, Marley received the Order of Merit from Jamaica. It could be given to “any citizen of Jamaica, who has achieved eminent international distinction in the field of science, the arts, literature, or any other endeavor”.
  • The United Nations awarded Marley with the Peace Medal in 1978. It was in the context of recognition of his advocacy for ‘disenfranchised blacks around the world’. Marley received this award from the African delegates to the UN in a ceremony carried out in New York City.
  • Even after his death, Marley’s music continued to play for decades. Thus, it continues raking in the money. In 2016, he came the sixth highest-earning dead celebrity in the world. In 2014, Marley and the Wailers’ greatest hit album, Legend, cracked the Billboard Top 10 list.
  • It is good to see that Bob Marley’s children are carrying on his legacy. Ziggy, his eldest son, has won eight Grammy Awards and been nominated fourteen times. His eldest daughter, Cedella, runs their family business as the CEO of Tuff Gong.

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