With the death of Bob Marley's grandson Jo Mersa Marley, who was 31, media have been reporting Bob Marley had 11 children, including Jo Mersa's father Stephen Marley. Bob actually had 13.
I researched the Marley family tree for my book Pot Culture: The A-Z Guide to Stoner Language & Life (co-written with Shirley Halperin) in 2007.
Marley's children are as follows (the mothers are parenthesized):
• Imani Carole Marley, May 22, 1963 (Cheryl Murray)
• Sharon Marley Prendergrass, Nov. 23, 1964 (Rita Marley - Bob is not her birth father)
• Cedella Marley, Aug. 23, 1967 (Rita Marley)
• David "Ziggy" Marley, Oct. 17, 1968 (Rita Marley)
• Stephen Marley, Apr. 20, 1972 (Rita Marley)
• Robert "Robbie" Marley, May 16, 1972 (Pat Williams)
• Rohan Marley, May 19, 1972 (Janet Hunt)
• Karen Marley, Feb. 26, 1973 (Janet Bowen)
• Stephanie Marley, Aug. 17, 1974 (Rita Marley - Bob is not her birth father)
• Julian Marley, June 4, 1975 (Lucy Pounder)
• Ky-Mani Marley, Feb. 26, 1976 (Anita Belnavis)
• Damian Marley, July 11, 1978 (Cindy Breakspeare)
• Makeda Jahnestra Marley, May 30, 1981 (Yvette Crichton)
So, to be clear, Bob Marley fathered 11 children. Makeda was born several weeks after Bob died. Sharon and Stephanie were not fathered by Bob and were born to Rita. They were considered part of the Marley family. Sharon was a member of the Melody Makers with Ziggy, Stephen and Cedella. Damian, Julian and Ky-Mani are also performers.
Sharon has four children: Donisha, Ingermar, Matthew and Peter-Shane (she's married to her second husband Ekow Alabi Savage).
Cedella has three children: Skip (June 4, 1996), Soul-Rebel Marley Minto and a name unknown (David Minto is their father).
Ziggy has seven children: Bambaata, Justice, Zuri, Victoria, Gideon, Abraham and Isaiah (the last four are with his wife Orly Agai).
Stephen has 13 children: Jo Mersa (Mar. 12, 1981), Zipporah, Shacia, Jeremiah, Benjamin, Summer, Sasha, Mystic, Yohan, Stephen Jr., Lailah, Nyah and Binghi (he's married to Kertia DeCosta Marley).
Rohan has six children, five with Lauryn Hill - Zion, Selah, Joshua, John and Sara - and one with Barbara Fielho.
Julian's daughter Caveri died from cancer in 2019.
Ky-Mani has nine children: Ky-Mani Jr., Kastin, Zedeke, Kingston, Kalani, Imani, Kymora, Cache and Maestro with four different women.
Makeda has one child: Kai.
Damian has two children: Elijah and Christian.
That's a total of at least 45 living grandchildren connected to Bob and Rita Marley. Jo Mersa, Skip and Johan followed their parents as singers and established careers in the music industry.
Jo Mersa's death on Dec. 27 was attributed to an asthma attack. His grandfather died from cancer in 1981.
Read about Bob Marley's fabled career here.