#36 Bob Marley
Born: February 6th, 1945
Died: May 11th, 1981
Age at death: 36
Cause of death: Malignant melanoma
In July 1977, Jamaican singer Bob Marley was diagnosed to have a type of malignant melanoma under the nail of a toe. A biopsy confirmed that it was the deadliest kind of skin cancer called acral lentiginous melanoma. Marley turned down his doctors’ advice to have his toe amputated, and instead, the nail and nail bed were removed and a skin graft was taken from his thigh to cover the area.
Three years later, Marley collapsed while jogging in Central Park and was taken to hospital, where it was found that his cancer had spread to his brain, lungs, and liver. Despite months of treatment, his health continued to deteriorate and he ultimately died of the disease on May 11th, 1981.
Marley is considered one of the pioneers of reggae. His contributions to music increased the visibility of Jamaican music across the world, and made him a global pop culture icon. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and Rolling Stone ranked him No. 11 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.