It may be three decades since the event of Bob Marley’s death, but up to now the question “how did Bob Marley die?” is still searched for by many people and is still surrounded by some forms of controversy. The iconic musician’s influence persists in our society today, thus, details of his life remains relevant. So how did Bob Marley die?

The official story is that the reggae legend succumbed to cancer on May 11, 1981. In 1977, Marley was said to have a malignant melanoma under the nail of his toe, which he did not have removed due to religious beliefs. The melanoma spread to his lungs and brain despite Marley having sought cancer therapy in 1980.

However, there are those that believe that Bob Marley suffered due to the machinations of the CIA a force that he resisted through his music and his lifestyle. Here are the some of the facts related to this assumption:

  • Bob Marley referred to the CIA as “vampires from Langley” in his song
  • In 1976, an attempt on Bob Marley’s life happened in his home on Hope Road in Kingston where the singer was with his family. Bob Marley survived with a bullet wound in his arm. Rita, Bob’s wife and some members of his group were injured as well.
  • The gunmen who peppered Marley’s home with bullets were never caught and the films of the photographs of gunmen that a Bob Marley insider took were stolen.
  • A week after the assault on Hope Road, Bob Marley, and The Wailers went to perform at the Smile Jamaica fest. Carl Colby, son of CIA director William Colby presented himself as a film crew and was able to get into the event.
  • Before the performance of Bob Marley and The Wailers, a pair of boots came for Bob Marley. The boots had a length of copper wire embedded in it – the tool believed by some to have caused the musician’s cancer.
  • After the boot incident, Marley went on with his life, but later broke his toe playing soccer in 1977. That was when the doctors found the cancer. Marley did not heed the doctor’s orders to have it amputated because it was forbidden in Rasta tradition.
  • Bob Marley’s old partner Peter Tosh was shot dead in 1987, also said to be related to political reasons.
  • Many of the Bob Marley files are said to remain under classified CIA files up to this day.
  • Don Taylor published a memoir called Marley and Me, alleging that a “senior CIA agent” was planted among the crew to “assassinate” Bob Marley.