Marley was very generous with his money. He bought houses and supported many of the poor in Jamaica.
His mother Cedella was a 17-year-old Jamaican native, his father Norval was a white British military officer in his 50s. Bob rarely saw his father.
He left school at 15 to become an apprentice to a welder.
Marley spent a month in prison in 1968 for marijuana possession. He identified with the prisoners he met and started writing more political songs.
Until Jamaica gained independence from Britain in 1962, the radio stations played music for the white, upper class. Marley and other natives set up mobile sound systems to play the Reggae beats they were making.
Marley passed away from Melanoma cancer - a cancer which only affects white people. The cancer was located on his toe, under his toenail. He found out when he injured his toe during a soccer game in 1977, and the wound did not fully heal for nearly 3 years. His doctors were baffled as to how he could have Melanoma, but they came to the conclusion that since Bob Marley's father was a white Jamaican of English decent, Bob had the gene that made him susceptible to that form of cancer. Marley refused to have the toe amputated, as the Rastafarian religion forbids modification of the body. The cancer spread to his stomach, lungs and brain and killed him. (thanks, Rajina - sydney, Australia)
His nickname was "Tuff Gong." He set up a record label called Tuff Gong Records.
There is a Bob Marley museum on Hope Road in Kingston, Jamaica, where he once lived.
Lauryn Hill was married to Marley's son Rohan, who played football for the Miami Hurricanes. They have 3 children together.
Time magazine named Marley's Exodus album the best of the 20th century.
Jimmy Cliff helped Marley get his first record contract. Chris Blackwell of Island Records signed Bob Marley and the Wailers after Cliff, who was a famous reggae star, left the label.
His group The Wailers were kicked off a tour in 1973 because they were upstaging the headliners, Sly And The Family Stone.
Bob's oldest son, Ziggy, experienced early fame with the family act The Melody Makers, which also consisted of several other members of Marley's progeny. Damian Marley, the youngest of Bob's 13 children, is a half-brother to the rest of the Marleys, the product of Bob's former lover Cindy Breakspeare. It could be argued that Damian is the most successful of the many Marleys; he is the only reggae artist in history to ever win two Grammys on the same night. Stephen Marley is also an entertainer in his own right and for a short time he was part of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers along with sisters Cedella and Sharon Marley. Cedella is the child of Rita Marley with Bob while Sharon was Rita's daughter from another man and was subsequently adopted by Bob.
Even though he died in 1981, Marley still sells more albums each year than any other Reggae artist.
Bono inducted Marley into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
Marley was a Rastafarian. As such, he was a vegetarian and believed that marijuana (ganga), is a sacred herb. Rastafarians do not cut their hair.
His name was actually Nesta Robert Marley, "Nesta" meaning messenger, as his mother Cedella had great visions of his birth and she believed he was blessed by God. His name was changed when he got a passport to travel to America to make money for the Wailers. The the worker taking his details said he should put his middle name down as Nesta because it would be seen as a girl's name in America. That is why he is called Bob Marley. (thanks, James - brightons, falkirk, Scotland)
Marley was employed as a waiter, assembly line worker, fork lift operator, and lab assistant before finally hitting it big.
Marley collapsed while jogging in 1980 in New York City's Central Park. He died eight months later from a combination of brain, lung, and liver cancer.
Two days before the Smile Jamaica Concert, a gunman went into Bob's house and shot him in the arm. Bob still performed at the concert to prove that a gun man would not scare him off.
Bob's first home was a one-room shack in the village of Nine Miles, St. Ann.
Marley married Rita Anderson on February 10, 1966. He had 4 children with Rita and another 8 with other women. Jamaican men were rarely monogamous. (thanks, Tony - Trenchtown, for above 3)
Bob Marley's home - Trenchtown - was so named because it was built on the sewers. (thanks, Matt - Perth, Australia)
In January 2008, the Jamaican National Archives reported that about 80% of the musical archives from the Jamaican Broadcasting Corporation have been stolen, including many rare recordings from Marley, Peter Tosh and many other Reggae artists. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
Marley didn't have a will, which resulted in numerous disputes over his estate since his death. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
Amid the violence and political turmoil in Jamaica, Marley spoke out for peace and understanding, blaming much of the problem on economic injustice. Said Marley: "You have to share. I don't care if it sounds political or whatever it is, but people have to share."
Bob Marley was buried with his red Gibson guitar, a soccer ball, a marijuana bud, a ring that he'd worn every day and a Bible open at Psalm 23.