Bob Geldof was the leader of the successful punk group the Boomtown Rats. He is perhaps most famous for his humanitarian efforts. Inspired by a documentary on starving Ethiopian children, Geldof contacted music personalities from the U.K. and the U.S. to make a recording, "Do They Know It's Christmas," whose 80 million dollars in benefits were sent to Ethiopia. In 1985, he organized two enormous Live Aid concerts, again featuring some of the most popular acts in modern pop music, and donated the proceeds to charity. As a result, Geldof received a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. He was also knighted. Though not an actor, Geldof has appeared occasionally in films such as Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982), and contributed to a number of msuic documentaries over the years.
Biography by Sandra Brennan
- Mother died when he was 7 years old.
- Worked as a butcher, manual laborer, pea canner and music critic prior to forming the Boomtown Rats.
- Formed the Boomtown Rats in 1975. The group scored nine Top 20 hits in the UK between 1977 and '80.
- Wrote the Boomtown Rats' hit "I Don't Like Mondays," which was inspired by a 1979 school shooting in San Diego.
- Motivated to write and release a charity single after watching a 1984 BBC documentary about famine in Ethiopia; the project evolved into the Band Aid single "Do They Know It's Christmas?," cowritten with Midge Ure and featuring 40 of Britain's top pop stars.
- Organized the 1985 Live Aid concerts in London and Philadelphia, which were watched by an estimated 1.4 billion people and raised some $200 million for the fight against famine in Africa.
- Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1986.
- Organized the 2005 Live 8 concert.