Personal Life & Other Endeavours

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Posted on Mon, 10/03/2016 - 1:23pm
by Ron Wallace

Member since: Sat, 01/24/2015

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Personal Life

Bono is married to Alison Hewson (née Stewart). The couple have four children: daughters Jordan (born 10 May 1989) and Memphis Eve (7 July 1991) and sons Elijah Bob Patricius Guggi Q (17 August 1999) and John Abraham (20 May 2001).

Bono is almost never seen in public without sunglasses. During a Rolling Stone interview he stated:

[I have] very sensitive eyes to light. If somebody takes my photograph, I will see the flash for the rest of the day. My right eye swells up. I've a blockage there, so that my eyes go red a lot. So it's part vanity, it's part privacy and part sensitivity.

In 2002, he was listed as one of the 100 Greatest Britons in a poll conducted among the general public, despite the fact he is Irish. In May 2010, Bono suffered a spinal injury while preparing for a U2 tour, and was taken to a German clinic in Munich for emergency neurosurgery. The North American leg of the tour was postponed and rescheduled for 2011. In 2004, Bono was given an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Bono was named one of the 17 Irish artists to be proud of by the Irish Post on 9 April 2013. Time magazine ranked him at the 8th place on its list of the "Most Influential Celebrities" in 2013; he was the only person from the music industry in the Top 10.

In the late 1980s or early '90s, Bono bought a top-floor duplex apartment in Manhattan's San Remo apartment building from Steve Jobs for $15 million. Jobs had had it renovated for his own use, but never moved in.

Bono's work as an activist, which is due largely to his Christian beliefs, began in earnest when, inspired by Live Aid, he travelled to Ethiopia to work in a feeding camp with his wife Alison and the charity World Vision, an Evangelical Christian humanitarian aid, development, and advocacy organisation. With regard to Bono's 2013 declarations in interviews published and videotaped of his faith in Jesus Christ, he states that Christ was either who he said he was, or he is "a complete and utter nut case". As early as 2005, Bono was invoking this argument, identified as the "Lewis trilemma".

Philanthropic Work

Bono has become one of the world's best-known philanthropic performers and was named the most politically effective celebrity of all time by the National Journal. He has been dubbed, "the face of fusion philanthropy", both for his success enlisting powerful allies from a diverse spectrum of leaders in government, religious institutions, philanthropic organisations, popular media, and the business world, as well as for spearheading new organizational networks that bind global humanitarian relief with geopolitical activism and corporate commercial enterprise.

In a 1986 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Bono explained that he was motivated to become involved in social and political causes by seeing one of the Secret Policeman's Ball benefit shows, staged by John Cleese and producer Martin Lewis for the human-rights organisation Amnesty International in 1979. "I saw 'The Secret Policeman’s Ball' and it became a part of me. It sowed a seed...". In 2001, Bono arranged for U2 to videotape a special live performance for that year's Amnesty benefit show.

In 1984, Bono sang on the Band Aid single "Do They Know it's Christmas?/Feed the World" (a role that was reprised on the 2004 Band Aid 20 single of the same name). Geldof and Bono later collaborated to organise the 2005 Live 8 project, where U2 also performed. Bono and U2 performed on Amnesty's Conspiracy Of Hope tour of the United States in 1986 alongside Sting. U2 also performed in the Band Aid and Live Aid projects, organised by Bob Geldof.

Since 1999, Bono has become increasingly involved in campaigning for third-world debt relief and raising awareness of the plight of Africa, including the AIDS pandemic. In the past decade Bono has met with several influential politicians, including former United States President George W. Bush and former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. During a March 2002 visit to the White House, after President Bush unveiled a $5 billion aid package, he accompanied the President for a speech on the White House lawn where he stated, "This is an important first step, and a serious and impressive new level of commitment. "...This must happen urgently, because this is a crisis.". In May of that year, Bono took US Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill on a four-country tour of Africa. In contrast, in 2005, Bono spoke on CBC Radio, alleging then Prime Minister Martin was being slow about increasing Canada's foreign aid.

In 2004, he was awarded the Pablo Neruda International Presidential Medal of Honour from the Government of Chile. Time Magazine named Bono one of the "100 Most Influential People" in its May 2004 special issue and again in the 2006 Time 100 special issue. In 2005, Time, named Bono, with Bill and Melinda Gates, a Person of the Year. Also in 2005, he received the Portuguese Order of Liberty for his humanitarian work. That year Bono was also among the first three recipients of the TED Prize, which grants each winner "A wish to change the world". Bono made three wishes, the first two related to the ONE campaign and the third that every hospital, health clinic and school in Ethiopia should be connected to the Internet. TED rejected the third wish as being a sub-optimal way for TED to help Africa and instead organised a TED conference in Arusha, Tanzania. Bono attended the conference, which was held in June 2007.

In 2005 he recorded a version of "Don't Give Up" with Alicia Keys, with proceeds going to Keep a Child Alive. On 3 April 2005, Bono paid a personal tribute to John Paul II and called him "a street fighter and a wily campaigner on behalf of the world's poor. We would never have gotten the debts of 23 countries completely cancelled without him.". Bono spoke in advance of President Bush at the 54th Annual National Prayer Breakfast, held at the Hilton Washington Hotel on 2 February 2006. In a speech containing biblical references, Bono encouraged the care of the socially and economically depressed. His comments included a call for an extra one percent tithe of the United States' national budget. He brought his Christian views into harmony with other faiths by noting that Christian, Jewish, and Muslim writings all call for the care of the widow, orphan, and stranger. President Bush received praise from the singer-activist for the United States' increase in aid for the African continent. Bono continued by saying much work is left to be done to be a part of God's ongoing purposes.

Also in 2005, Bono, Ali Hewson and designer Rogan Gregory co-founded the Edun fashion label ("nude" spelled backwards, to suggest both "natural" and the Garden of Eden). It was intended to help bring about positive change in Africa through a fair trade-based relationship rather than by direct aid.

On 15 December 2005, Paul Theroux published an op-ed in the New York Times called The Rock Star's Burden (cf. Kipling's The White Man's Burden) that criticised stars such as Bono, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie, labelling them as "mythomaniacs, people who wish to convince the world of their worth.". Theroux, who lived in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer, added that "the impression that Africa is fatally troubled and can be saved only by outside help—not to mention celebrities and charity concerts—is a destructive and misleading conceit.". Elsewhere, Bono has been criticised, along with other celebrities, for "[ignoring] the legitimate voices of Africa and [turning] a global movement for justice into a grand orgy of narcissistic philanthropy".

In 2007, Bono was named in the UK's New Years Honours List as an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He was formally granted knighthood on 29 March 2007 in a ceremony at the residence of British Ambassador David Reddaway in Dublin, Ireland.

Bono also received the NAACP Image Award's Chairman's Award in 2007. On 24 May 2007, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia announced that Bono would receive the Philadelphia Liberty Medal on 27 September 2007 for his work to end world poverty and hunger. On 28 September 2007, in accepting the Liberty Medal, Bono said, "When you are trapped by poverty, you are not free. When trade laws prevent you from selling the food you grew, you are not free ... When you are a monk in Burma this very week, barred from entering a temple because of your gospel of peace ... well, then none of us are truly free". Bono donated the $100,000 prize to the organisation. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala accepted the award for the Washington-based Debt AIDS Trade Africa.

The organisation DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa) was established in 2002 by Bono and Bobby Shriver, along with activists from the Jubilee 2000 Drop the Debt Campaign. DATA aims to eradicate poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa. DATA encourages Americans to contact senators and other legislators and elected officials to voice their opinions.

Bono was a special guest editor of the July 2007 issue of Vanity Fair magazine. The issue was named "The Africa Issue: Politics & Power" and featured an assortment of 20 different covers, with photographs by Annie Leibovitz of a number of prominent celebrities, political leaders, and philanthropists. Each one showcased in the issue for their contributions to the humanitarian relief in Africa.

In an article in Bloomberg Markets in March 2007, journalists Richard Tomlinson and Fergal O'Brien noted that Bono used his band's 2006 Vertigo world tour to promote his ONE Campaign while at the same time "U2 was racking up $389 million in gross ticket receipts, making Vertigo the second-most lucrative tour of all time, according to Billboard magazine ... Revenue from the Vertigo tour is funnelled through companies that are mostly registered in Ireland and structured to minimise taxes.".

Further criticism came in November 2007, when Bono's various charity campaigns were targeted by Jobs Selasie, head of African Aid Action. Selasie claimed that these charities had increased corruption and dependency in Africa because they failed to work with African entrepreneurs and grassroots organisations, and as a result, Africa has become more dependent on international handouts. Bono responded to his critics in Times Online on 19 February 2006, calling them "cranks carping from the sidelines. A lot of them wouldn’t know what to do if they were on the field. They’re the party who will always be in opposition so they’ll never have to take responsibility for decisions because they know they’ll never be able to implement them.".

In November 2007, Bono was honoured by NBC Nightly News as someone "making a difference" in the world. He and anchor Brian Williams had travelled to Africa in May 2007 to showcase the humanitarian crisis on the continent. On 11 December 2008, Bono was given the annual Man of Peace prize, awarded by several Nobel Peace Prize laureates in Paris, France.

Product Red is another initiative begun by Bono and Bobby Shriver to raise money for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Bobby Shriver has been announced as the CEO of Product Red, whilst Bono is currently an active public spokesperson for the brand. Product Red is a brand that is licensed to partner companies, such as American Express, Apple, Converse, Motorola, Microsoft, Dell, The Gap and Giorgio Armani. Each company creates a product with the Product Red logo and a percentage of the profits from the sale of these labelled products will go to the Global Fund.

Bono is the subject of The Front Man, a book by Irish journalist Harry Browne, which criticises his embrace of capitalism and neoliberalism.

Other Endeavours

In 1992, Bono, along with the Edge, bought and refurbished Dublin's two-star 70-bedroom Clarence Hotel, and converted it into a five-star 49-bedroom hotel. The Edge and Bono have recorded several songs together, exclusive of the band. They also worked on the score for the 2011 rock musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

In May 2007, MTV reported that Bono was writing the foreword for a collection of poetry entitled "Third Rail". The book's foreword details the meanings of its poetry, stating "The poets who fill the pews here have come to testify, to bear witness to the mysterious power of rock and roll...Rock and roll is truly a broad church, but each lights a candle to their vision of what it is.". The collection, edited by poet Jonathan Wells, contains titles such as "Punk rock You're My Big Crybaby", "Variation on a Theme by Whitesnake" and "Vince Neil Meets Josh in a Chinese Restaurant in Malibu (After Ezra Pound).".

Bono is on the board of the Elevation Partners private-equity firm, which attempted to purchase Eidos Interactive in 2005 and has since gone on to invest in other entertainment businesses. Bono has invested in the Forbes Media group in the US through Elevation Partners. Elevation Partners became the first outsider to invest in the company, taking a minority stake in Forbes Media LLC, a new company encompassing the 89-year-old business which includes Forbes magazine, the Forbes.com website and other assets. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but reports said the stake was worth about €194 million ($250m). The firm also owns a 1.5% stake in social networking site Facebook, originally purchased for $210m. Bono's stake was valued at approximately US$ 1 billion in February 2012.

Filmography

In addition to his acting credits Bono has contributed music to films, as part of U2 and other collaborations. In Across the Universe he sang The Beatles songs "I Am the Walrus" and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".

 

Attribution

Bono - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : taken from - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bono
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