Name at birth: Robert Frederick Zenon Geldof
Bob Geldof was the leader of the Boomtown Rats, an Irish "new wave" band of the 1970s and '80s. The group had a string of hits in the United Kingdom and broke through to international popularity with the 1979 single "I Don't Like Mondays." In 1984 Geldof turned activist, organizing 40 British pop musicians (including Sting, Bono and Paul McCartney) to record the tune "Do They Know It's Christmas" under the name Band Aid; the goal was to raise money for victims of starvation in Africa. The song was a tremendous hit and led to the mammoth twin charity concerts known as Live Aid, held in London and Philadelphia on 13 July 1985. Geldof was given an honorary knighthood in 1986 and nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2005 he helped organize another day of mega-concerts, called Live 8, urging leaders of the G8 nations to forgive African debt and increase aid to the continent. Live 8, with concerts in 10 cities around the world, was held on 2 July 2005.
Geldof married British TV presenter Paula Yates in 1986 and had three children with her: Fifi Trixibelle (b. 1984), Peaches (b. 1989) and Pixie (b. 1990). Yates and Geldof separated in 1995, when she began a relationship with Australian rock star Michael Hutchence… Geldof had an acting role in the 1982 film Pink Floyd’s The Wall… “Do They Know It’s Christmas” inspired a similar supergroup recording in the United States, “We Are the World,” led by Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones… Some sources list his middle name as ‘Xenon’ rather than ‘Zenon’; however, the BBC and CTV, among others, say ‘Zenon.’