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Secretary-General's MDG Advocay Group

Secretary General's MDG Advocacy Group

Bob Geldof

Photo of Bob Geldof

Bob Geldof,
Singer, songwriter, political activist (United Kingdom)

Rock musician and philanthropist Bob Geldof, born Dublin, Ireland, in 1951, studied at Blackrock College in Dublin, worked in Canada as a pop journalist, then returned home in 1975 to form the successful rock group, the Boomtown Rats (1975–86).

Moved by television pictures of widespread suffering in famine-stricken Ethiopia, he established the pop charity 'Band Aid' trust in 1984, which raised $8 million for Africa famine relief through the release of the record 'Do they know it's Christmas?'. In 1985, simultaneous 'Live Aid' charity concerts were held in London and Philadelphia which, transmitted by satellite throughout the world, raised a further $48 million.

In 2004 he was appointed a member of the newly-launched Commission for Africa initiative, its task to produce new ideas for reducing poverty in the continent. In November that year a new 'Band Aid' formed to record a second version of 'Do they know it's Christmas?' to raise funds for famine-stricken Darfur in Sudan, and the single topped the charts for several weeks including Christmas.

In July 2005, he organized the 'Live 8' charity pop concerts timed to coincide with the G8 summit on world poverty, held in Scotland. In support of the Make Poverty History campaign, performances were broadcast in 10 cities around the world, including London and Philadelphia. That year he also presented Geldof in Africa for BBC 1 and wrote the book to accompany the series. At the 2005 Brit Awards he was honoured with a lifetime achievement award. He received an honorary knighthood in 1986, and was awarded the freedom of the City of Dublin in 2005.

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