How Did Bob Marley Die? The Wailers icon’s untimely death explained 40 years on

how did bob marley
how did bob marley

Bob Marley

The reggae legend, Bob Marley, passed away in 1981 at the age of 36. Despite his untimely death, he left behind a legacy that continues to inspire and uplift us through his music. In this article, we will uncover the events that occurred in the last years of his life, shedding light on the circumstances surrounding his death.

When and where did Bob Marley die?

Bob Marley sadly passed away on May 11, 1981, at the Cedars Of Lebanon Hospital in Miami. His final words to his son Ziggy were, “Money can’t buy life.” It was a heartbreaking moment that emphasized the preciousness of life and the fleeting nature of our existence.

What was Bob Marley’s cause of death?

Bob Marley in 1977

Marley succumbed to acral lentiginous melanoma, a form of skin cancer. He had been diagnosed in 1977 when the cancer had already spread from under a nail on his toe. Initially, Marley discovered the melanoma while playing football, noticing that a foot injury was worsening over time. Despite doctors recommending amputation of his toe, Marley, a devout Rastafarian, refused due to his faith’s beliefs. Instead, he opted for a skin graft, but unfortunately, this did not halt the spread of the disease throughout his body by 1980.

What was he doing in 1981?

During his final tour, Marley collapsed while jogging in Central Park. Despite his deteriorating health, he played his last concert in Pittsburgh in September 1980. Realizing that conventional treatments were ineffective, he canceled all remaining live dates and traveled to Germany for a diet-based treatment under Josef Issels. After eight months of unsuccessful therapy, Marley returned to Jamaica. However, his condition worsened during the flight, and upon arrival in Miami, he was rushed to the hospital, where he passed away on May 11, 1981.

Where was Bob Marley’s funeral held?

Bob Marley was given a state funeral in Jamaica on May 21, 1981. The eulogy was delivered by Prime Minister Edward Seaga, and Marley was laid to rest in a chapel near his birthplace. He was buried alongside his beloved Gibson Les Paul guitar. Seaga eloquently remarked, “His voice was an omnipresent cry in our electronic world. His sharp features, majestic looks, and prancing style are a vivid etching on the landscape of our minds. 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.”

Are there any conspiracy theories about his death?

One popular conspiracy theory suggests that Marley’s political presence in Jamaica led to his murder by the CIA. According to this theory, the CIA orchestrated an attempted assassination at Hope Road in 1976, and when that failed, they sought alternative methods to end his life. Some claim that Carl Colby, the son of former CIA director William Colby, gave Marley a pair of boots embedded with a radioactive copper wire. When Marley put on the boots, the wire pricked his toe, causing the cancer. Additionally, there are stories that link Josef Issels, the doctor who treated Marley in Germany, to the CIA.


Q: How old was Bob Marley when he died?
A: Bob Marley was only 36 years old when he passed away in 1981.

Q: What type of cancer did Bob Marley have?
A: Bob Marley had acral lentiginous melanoma, which is a form of skin cancer.

Q: Where was Bob Marley buried?
A: Bob Marley was buried in a chapel near his birthplace in Jamaica, alongside his Gibson Les Paul guitar.

Q: Was Bob Marley assassinated?
A: There are conspiracy theories suggesting that Bob Marley was targeted for assassination by the CIA, but these claims have not been proven.


Bob Marley’s death in 1981 marked a tragic loss for the music world. Despite his short life, his impact and influence continue to resonate even four decades later. Marley’s unwavering faith, dedication to his music, and refusal to compromise his values made him a beloved icon. Although the circumstances surrounding his death remain the subject of speculation, his legacy as a music legend and cultural icon remains strong.

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