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Bob Marley/Bob Marley's Death


The Hunter wrote at 2006-07-07 15:55:40
In July 1977, Marley was found to have a wound on his right big toe, which he thought was from a football (soccer) injury. Urban legends have since told that it was the British television personality Danny Baker who had caused the injury during a celebrity football match. The wound would not completely heal, and his toenail later fell off during a football game. It was then that the correct diagnosis was made. Marley actually had a form of skin cancer, malignant melanoma, which grew under his toenail.

Marley was advised to get his toe amputated, but he refused because of his Rastafarian beliefs that the body must be whole, that to have an amputation would be a sin, that his faith would ensure him living forever regardless of the cancer and because he saw medical doctors as samfai, confidence men who cheat the gullible by pretending to have the power of witchcraft. He also was concerned about the impact the operation would have on his dancing. Still, Marley based this refusal primarily on his Rastafarian beliefs, saying, "Rasta no abide amputation. I don't allow a mon ta be dismantled." (Catch a Fire, Timothy White) He did agree to undergo some minor surgery to try to excise the cancer, which was kept secret from the wider public.[citation needed]


Collapse and treatment

The cancer eventually spread to Marley's brain, lungs, liver, and stomach. He later collapsed while jogging in NYC's Central Park, having recently played two shows at Madison Square Garden as part of his fall 1980 Uprising Tour (the remainder of which was subsequently cancelled). Bob Marley played his final concert in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 23 September, 1980; the live version of "Redemption Song" on Songs of Freedom was recorded at this show.[2] Marley sought medical help, and decided to go to Munich in order to receive treatment from cancer specialist Josef Issels, but the cancer had already progressed to the terminal stage.



Marley wanted to spend his final days in Jamaica but he became too ill on the flight home from Germany and the plane was forced to land in Miami so that he could receive immediate medical attention. He died at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami, Florida on May 11, 1981. His final words to his son Ziggy were, "Money can't buy life." Bob Marley received the honor of a State funeral in Jamaica. It was a dignified funeral with combined elements of Ethiopian Orthodoxy and Rastafari. He is buried in a crypt at Nine Miles, near his birthplace, with his Gibson Les Paul, a soccer ball, a bud of marijuana and a Bible. A month before his death, he was awarded the Jamaican Order of Merit.

simmer down wrote at 2006-09-30 07:49:59
He actually did not die from a brain tumor.  He passed away from cancer that started in the toe and then spread through his body.  He battled it for months and then before heading home he ended up dying in Miami.

Jonny Nulty wrote at 2006-10-25 17:45:16
1980 Bob fell ill, the cancer had spread to his liver stomach and brain. Bob nearly collapsed during a concert in America. The next day he collapsed while jogging with his mate Skill Cole in Central Park. Bob was sent to hospital. Doctor said the tumor in his brain had grown and Bob had less then a month to live.

In Miami, wee Bob and Rita got baptized at the Ethiopian Orthodox church on Nov 4. 5 days later in a last attempt to save his life, Bob flew to a treatment center in Germany with Rita. 3 months later, May 11, Robert Nesta Marley died at the young age of 36. Bob's funeral was held in Jamaica on May 21 and hunreds of thousands of people attended, including the Prime Minister of Jamaica. Bob's body was taken back to his birth place in Nine Miles where he now rests in a mausoleum.

Although Bob himself may have passed on, his work beyond doubt has not. In the furthest back waters of the planet, you can always hear a Bob Marley tune. Wherever the spirit of Bob Marley resides, he is propaly still Jammin' as his  Legend lives on.

Bob Marley 1945-1981 R.I.P

andreachil wrote at 2006-12-21 23:07:13
n July 1977, Marley was found to have malignant melanoma in a football wound on his right hallux (big toe). Marley refused amputation, citing worries that the operation would affect his dancing, as well as the Rastafarian belief that the body must be "whole.

Marley may have seen medical doctors as samfai. True to this belief Marley went against all surgical possibilities and sought out other means that would not break his religious beliefs.

The cancer spread to Marley's brain, lungs, liver, and stomach following his refusal of treatment. After playing two shows at Madison Square Garden as part of his fall 1980 Uprising Tour, he collapsed while jogging in NYC's Central Park. The remainder of the tour was subsequently cancelled.

Bob Marley played his final concert at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 23, 1980. The live version of "Redemption Song" on Songs of Freedom was recorded at this show. Marley afterwards sought medical help from Munich specialist Josef Issels, but his cancer had already progressed to the terminal stage.

nerfa.Marley wrote at 2007-09-07 02:06:24
As weird as it sounds Bob's cancer was because of an untreated cancer in his toe. An injury he had while touring in France in a soccer game, the injury got a lot worse to the point were his hole nail came of, but he refused to have a surgery time past and he finally allowed an orthopedic surgeon to perform a skin graft on the toe. In September of 1980, a weakened Marley almost fainted onstage while performing in New York. The next day, he collapsed while jogging in Central Park. Marley was diagnosed with a brain tumor

Rachel wrote at 2007-12-13 17:29:28
Actually the above post is completely wrong.  Bob Marley died of malignant melanoma a cancer which started on his right big tope and spread to his whole body.  Bob could have stopped the cancer from spreading but it went against his Rastafari beliefs that the body should be "whole."  So he died.

kea'nia wrote at 2007-12-22 05:00:17
this is great information but I feel it also important to know a few more key facts. The cancer was discovered in Bob Marley's toe after he re-injured himself while playing soccer and the injury refused to heal. Due to religious beliefs, Bob Marley decided not to have an amputation and the cancer slowly spread throughout his body-ending up in his brain.

Rob wrote at 2008-01-06 20:11:26
It started on his toe and was from playing soccer, not smoking related. For religious reasons Bob refused to have his toe amputated and the cancer spread to other parts of his body.He amazingly lived 2 years afterward possibly because the cancer reducing effects of THC, the main active substance in marijuana (see a US government study that showed fewer cancers in THC-treated animals).

Sheba wrote at 2008-02-29 07:45:42
Thats a total lie, he died from melenoma cancer on his right toe, he played his last concert in PA, and was flying home to Jamacia when he landing in Miami for emergency attention..and he died there...

Emily wrote at 2008-05-15 06:05:31
Bob Marley did not die of brain tumor

he had died because he had skin cancer

and he did not notice it when traveling

with the wailers. He noticed it when he

was already going solo.

Bob Marley Fan wrote at 2008-06-22 01:15:03

I'm a Huge fan of Bob Marley. The actual cause of his death all began when he was playing soccer and stubbed his for a second time, with the toe refusing to heal the nail eventually fell off and the doctor's recommended that he get it amputated. Being as Bob was a religious man he refused the surgery. a while late Bob went back and had some work on his toe. It came out as a success. Later on during a show Bob almost fainted on stage and later collapsed while jogging. It was then announced that he had a brain tumor. Although speculations occured where people said it happened to do the use of maijuana, it came out that it was because  of his toe.

Cyric wrote at 2008-10-28 02:43:46
Some people seem to believe that the cancer was FROM a soccer injury. This is not true. The nail falling off and the failure of it to heal were symptoms of his cancer. This type of melanoma may start under the nail. (according to wikipedia)

Jaye wrote at 2008-12-05 00:05:53
Actually, Bob Marley died of malignant melanoma that began in his toe which he had previously injured.  He did not seek medical treatment initially, and the cancer spread to his brain, lungs and liver. The brain metastases may have killed him, he had numerous tumors in his brain, but the cancer was present throughout his body.  Melanoma is an extremely deadly form of cancer, and today over 25 years later, there is little that can be done if it has spread from the original site.

ennui1812 wrote at 2009-09-05 17:21:49
The last two answers finally got it right. From what I gather about melanoma Marley probably already had it when he injured the toe. The injury just revealed the melanoma by not healing properly. People who are susceptible to melanoma have to check their entire bodies regularly for the odd place a melanoma may begin, for instance, between the toes. Marley was half English and living a lot closer to the equator than most Brits do. Sun exposure ups melanoma risk in those vulnerable. As a redhead I think about such things!

Big Jake wrote at 2010-01-30 00:25:32
From the Wikipedia entry: "Acral Lentiginous Melanoma ... occurs on non hair-bearing surfaces of the body which may or may not be exposed to sunlight. It is also found on mucous membranes. Unlike other forms of melanoma, acral lentiginous melanoma does not appear to be linked to sun exposure.  It is the most common form of melanoma diagnosed amongst Asian and Black ethnic groups. The average age at diagnosis is between sixty and seventy years."

weedmker wrote at 2010-03-05 15:02:34
the cancer started in his toe from playing soccer with the wailers earlier on; before he knew about his cancer at all.

monique wrote at 2010-11-03 17:00:13
DUDE WHOEVR SAID THE 1ST ONE IS FUKIN IGNORANT!!! He injured his toe playing soccer then it spead to his brain stomach and lungs. the brain tummor formed from heavily use of smokin that dro.

badphilip wrote at 2011-10-07 17:52:20
weed does not cause cancer. Bob was poisoned with a copper spike implanted in his shoe, this happened after his house was invaded and shot up and before the soccer injury. anybody that says that weed caused this is spreading a lie and has an agenda that is bad.

pctarimu wrote at 2012-04-07 14:53:27
One thing ppl don say is this: Bob Marley died knowing Jesus Christ. He got saved at the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which was started by Haile Sellasie I sending a representative to Jamaica to make rastafarians believe Jesus as Lord and not him (Selassie). 4.Nov.1980 the star converted to Christianity..with  about an hour of tears. Bob is saved. Are you? If u think am kidding, follow the link;

john wrote at 2014-02-19 22:28:40
he first injured his toe back in 1975 when playing football in kingston.  

Bob Marley

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Grant Miner


I can answer a broad range of questions on reggae music, its history, and the religious and social factors that have influenced its development in Jamaica and elsewhere. I also have a similarly broad knowledge base for old school Punk Rock (circa 1976-1982).


A performing musician for 20 years, I have traveled extensively in Jamaica and England as well as the USA, always with an eye and an ear for music.

In the early 80s I conducted interviews and wrote for numerous underground music magazines: Paranoia, Flipside, etc. More recently I have written about sports for

Awards and Honors
American Academy of Poetry Award (1984)

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