Bob Marley

A stamp printed in Jamaica commemorating the 50th anniversary of

Bob Marley on Jamaican stamp printed c. 1995, photo by Neftali/

Birth Name: Robert Nesta Marley

Date of Birth: 6 February, 1945

Place of Birth: Nine Mile, Saint Ann, Jamaica

Date of Death: May 11, 1981

Place of Death: Miami, Florida, U.S.

Ethnicity: Jamaican [English, African]

Bob Marley was a legendary Jamaican reggae singer, songwriter, musician, and guitarist.

He was the son of Cedella Editha (Malcolm) and Norval Sinclair Marley, a marine officer and plantation overseer. His parents were born in Jamaica, his father in Clarendon. His father had English ancestry. His mother was black. He was quoted saying:

Me don’t dip on the black man’s side nor the white man’s side. Me dip on God’s side, the one who create me and cause me to come from black and white.

Bob was married to singer Rita Marley (born Alpharita Constantia Anderson), until his death. Bob had eleven children (at least), including musicians Ziggy Marley and Damian Marley, and entrepreneur and professional football player Rohan Marley. He was the grandfather of musicians Bambaata Marley, Jo Mersa Marley, Skip Marley, Selah Marley, who is also a model, and YG Marley.

He was baptized by the Archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Church on November 4, 1980 in Kingston, Jamaica.

Bob’s paternal grandfather was Albert Thomas Marley (the son of Frederick Marley and Hannah Jane Tiltman). Albert was English, born in South Weald, Brentwood, Essex, England, to parents from Rye, Sussex. Frederick was the son of Thomas Marley and Jane Simms/Sims. Hannah was the daughter of Richard Tiltman and Mary Ann Moore.

Bob’s paternal grandmother was named Ellen Ann Bloomfield (the daughter of Richard Bloomfield).

Bob’s maternal grandfather was Omeriah/Amariah Malcolm (the son of Robert Malcolm and Katherine Bygrave). Omeriah was born in Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica.

Bob’s maternal grandmother was Alberta/Albertha Willoughby/Whilby (the daughter of David/Daniel Willoughby and Hannah/Anna Downs). Daniel was the son of Richard Whilby and Jeanette.

There are claims on the internet that Bob had some kind of Jewish ancestry, sometimes cited as Syrian Jewish, through his father, or, sometimes, his mother. There is no documented evidence that Bob had Jewish ancestry. The Bloomfield family line from which Bob descended, a famous family in Jamaica, is sometimes cited as having been originally Jewish; this is almost certainly false.

Sources: Genealogies of Bob Marley –


Curious about ethnicity

50 Responses

  1. boxingandmmaguy says:

    The King Of Reggae is black and white

    • doublered3 says:

      He looked more black, he has his mom’s features and raggae is black music. i dont think most people even know that he is half white. he has never met his father and doesn’t have white features.

      • BabyloneStar says:

        He clearly has a few white features like his nose.
        What does reggae being black music has to do with it? Is Emnimen black? Is UB40 singer black? Are Living Colour members white?
        Also the fact that most people are blatantly ignorent doesn’t change the fact that he is biracial.

      • bleachsoda says:

        Bob marley looked very visibly biracial you can’t be serious. No fully black person looks like him

  2. izzybizzy says:

    I’ve known for a long time that he was mixed. It’s not surprising. Most people in the Caribbean/South America have European and African blood.

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