Born in 1951, Sir Bob Geldof is one of Ireland’s most successful exports and is known throughout the world for his many talents and passions. Starting his career as a successful musician, actor and songwriter, he has gone on to both inspire a generation and make prolific social changes as a philanthropist and political activist. An inspiring and influential public speaker, he speaks on a range of topics and uses his vast personal experiences to both provoke and motivate his audience.
Shooting to fame as the lead singer of the Boomtown Rats, Bob Geldof was a major player in the 80s punk rock movement and enjoyed over a decade of hits between 1975 and 1986, including “Rat Trap”, “I Don’t Like Mondays” and “Up All Night”. After leaving the band, he launched a successful solo career, published his best-selling autobiography, Is That It? and worked as a radio DJ, journalist and television presenter.
Showcasing his incredible versatility, he has also established himself as an astute businessman. By 1992, he was co-owner of television production company, Planet 24, responsible for the extremely popular early morning show, The Big Breakfast. He also became a founding partner of Groupcall in 2002, an IT company who specialises in communication software and data extraction tools for the education, public and business sectors.
Showbiz success and business acumen aside, Sir Bob Geldof is possibly most famous for his work as a tireless charity campaigner and activist. In 1984, and in response to a BBC report documenting the famine in Ethiopia, he mobilised the pop world to raise funds in an attempt to bring about change. He wrote and performed “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” with a variety of other artists under the name, Band Aid – a song which became the UK’s fastest selling single of all time, entered the chart at number one and eventually went on to raise more than £8 million for charity.
Following the astronomical success of Band Aid, Bob Geldof went on to organise Live Aid in 1985, one of the biggest rock concerts the world had ever seen. It took place at Wembley Stadium in London and John F Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, lasted 16 hours and raised over £150 million for famine relief in Africa. He was subsequently granted an honorary knighthood for his charity efforts in 1986.
Following a further two decades of determined charity work and activism, Geldof went on to organise the Live 8 concerts. Part of the Make Poverty History campaign, the Live 8 project consisted of 6 concerts across the world and aimed to raise awareness of the plight in Africa, including poverty, hunger, government debt and the AIDs epidemic.
Sir Bob Geldof has received a number of awards in recognition of his charity work, including a Man of Peace award in 2005 and nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize in both 2006 and 2008. He is currently training to complete a space mission and his historic flight is set to mark the first time a celebrity musician, and Irish person, has ever been into space.
Bob was made Fellow of Mansfielf College Oxford in recognition of his work in the humanitarian and poverty areas. He could be considered one the world's first social entrepreneurs. After receiving this honor, Bob delivered the 13th Hans Lecture to a sold-out auditorium. It was acknowledged by Guy Hands as "the best and most stimulation lecture ever given in the series."
We ask our delegates to complete evaluation forms on the speakers etc. Bob received the best marks in the history of our event (higher than Bill Clinton!). The top mark is 5 but people were crossing that out and putting a 6 or even a 10! Great message , great delivery , fully deserved his standing ovation ! Thanks to you for making sure it worked and to Bob for taking time out from G8. Awesome!"
"What an incredible speech! He [Bob Geldof] really is the best orator I have ever seen.”
"Just a quick note to say thanks to you and your team for your help in getting Bob to speak at the Google conference earlier this week."
"An outstanding speaker. The most powerful messaging I have ever heard."