Individual 1985

Personal Award: Bob Geldof and Live Aid

Last year, the Peabody Board recognized Central Independent Television of Great Britain for its role in revealing the tragedy of the Ethiopian famine to the world. In the months that followed, the western media was full of the imagery of poverty and despair, perhaps best expressed in the expressionless faces of starving children. Many thought the scope of the tragedy was beyond our means to respond, that there was little that “one person could do” to make a difference. But not Bob Geldof. On the strength of his convictions, with neither political nor financial power, Mr. Geldof tackled the mounting despair with a program of worldwide relief, given expression with a global communications form—Rock and Roll. The result was the most significant international broadcast to date: the Live Aid concert. On July 13, 1985, artists from many nations shared the world stage to raise $65 million for victims of the famine. Contributions continue to pour in. While entertainment was provided to millions, more importantly, there was food for thousands. With this award, the Peabody Board expresses its appreciation to Bob Geldof for his unprecedented humanitarian effort.