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Published on Feb 13, 2007
Geldof was born Robert Frederick Zenon Geldof in Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, in the Republic of Ireland, to parents of Catholic extraction. He attended Blackrock College, near Dublin, a school whose staunch Catholic nationalist ethos he disliked. After work as a slaughterman, road navvy and pea canner, he started as a music journalist in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, for the weekly publication Georgia Straight. Upon returning to Ireland in 1975, he became the lead singer of the band The Boomtown Rats, a rock group closely linked with the punk movement.In 1978, The Boomtown Rats had their first No. 1 single in the UK with "Rat Trap", which was the first New Wave chart-topper in that country. In 1979, the group shot to international fame with their second UK No. 1, "I Don't Like Mondays". This was equally successful, as well as controversial; Geldof wrote it in the aftermath of Brenda Ann Spencer's attempted massacre at an elementary school across the street from her house in San Diego, California, at the beginning of 1979.