Rita Marley, Widow of Bob Marley, Hospitalized in Miami

Rita Marley, 70, the widow of reggae legend Bob Marley, has been hospitalized in Miami, Florida, after suffering a stroke while on a visit to attend a special event there. According to a source close to the family, this was the second stroke suffered by Mrs. Marley. Rita Marley was born in Santiago de Cuba in July of 1946 and came with her family to Jamaica when she was a toddler. She grew up in Greenwich Town and met Bob Marley in the early 1960s when she was a singer and manager of the Soulettes, the group that later became the i-Threes. She married Bob Marley in 1966 and is the mother of Sharon, David (Ziggy), Cedella, and Stephen Marley, four of Bob Marley’s 13 children. During the height of Bob Marley’s career, the i-Threes, which comprised Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffith in addition to Rita Marley, were popular backup singers both on stage and on recordings. After Bob Marley died in a Miami hospital in 1981, Rita Marley has continued to promote his legacy and ensuring that his descendants are supported. She was instrumental in transforming the Marley residence on Hope Road into the Bob Marley Museum, a very popular tourist attraction in Jamaica. United States President Barack Obama visited the museum during his visit in 2015. In 2000, Rita Marley founded the Bob Marley Foundation, a non-profit, non-governmental, non-partisan organization designed to alleviate poverty and hunger in developing nations, and is specifically focused on helping young people and the elderly.

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Stephanie Korney