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Bob Geldof – the opinion-wielding Irishman who was destined for greatness – turns 70 with an undiminished lust for life

John Meagher


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Bob Geldof performing on stage at Wembley Stadium during Live Aid in 1985. Photo: Neil Leifer/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

Bob Geldof performing on stage at Wembley Stadium during Live Aid in 1985. Photo: Neil Leifer/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

Bob Geldof with his wife Jeanne Lallemand Geldof after he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Limerick in 2019. Photo: Damien Eagers/INM

Bob Geldof with his wife Jeanne Lallemand Geldof after he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Limerick in 2019. Photo: Damien Eagers/INM

Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats performing at the Castlebar Rock Festival in 1982. Photo: Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection

Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats performing at the Castlebar Rock Festival in 1982. Photo: Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection

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Bob Geldof performing on stage at Wembley Stadium during Live Aid in 1985. Photo: Neil Leifer/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

IT IS a label that is often bandied about, but few deserve to be known as a renaissance man quite like Bob Geldof. The Dubliner, who turns 70 on Tuesday, has packed a great deal into a life less ordinary.

Comedian Russell Brand once quipped that the Boomtown Rat “knows a lot about famine – he’s been dining out on I Don’t Like Mondays for 30 years”. While it’s easy to argue that his music career burned brightly at the start and then faded away, Geldof has done much, much more than the typical rock star of his generation.


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