On this day in history, November 4, 1980, Bob Marley was baptised as a Christian in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. When Haile Selassie died in August 1975, Marley quickly released Jah Lives, a statement reassuring the Rastas of Selassie’s immortality. Nevertheless, by the time Marley died in Miami, on his way home to Jamaica in 1981, he had taken the name of Berhane Selassie which means Light of the Trinity.
In 1978, Marley returned to Kingston and performed at the One Love Peace Concert, again in an effort to calm warring political factions. Near the end of his performance, he called Manley and his arch-rival, JLP leader Edward Seaga, on stage for a symbolic clasping of hands.
Traveling to Europe, Bob Marley underwent unconventional treatment in Germany, and was subsequently able to fight off the cancer for months. It soon became clear that Marley didn’t have much longer to live, however, so the musician set out to return to his beloved Jamaica one last time. Sadly, he would not manage to complete the journey, dying in Miami, Florida, on May 11, 1981.
Shortly before his death, Marley had received the Order of Merit from the Jamaican government. He had also been awarded the Medal of Peace from the United Nations in 1980. Adored by the people of Jamaica, Marley was given a hero’s send-off.