Beliefnet Most Inspiring Person of the Year 2005

FINALIST
Bono Rocker, political activist

It's something of an understatement to say that Bono is so much more than a rock star. After all, how many rockers made the short list for both president of the World Bank

and

the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005-on top of winning two Grammy Awards?

Bono, 45, was nominated for the Peace Prize because of his tireless work on behalf of Third World debt relief, AIDS awareness and prevention in Africa, and increased action in Sudan's troubled Darfur region. Three years ago, he started an organization called DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa) to rally worldwide action on the crises swamping Africa.

In October of this year, showing his unparalleled ability to work with both liberals and conservatives, the U2 frontman had an Oval Office audience with President George W. Bush to discuss the AIDS crisis and the administration's Africa policy. In a Rolling Stone interview, Bono, who prays every day, said he uses his Christian background in the Bible to speak to evangelical leaders about AIDS as "the leprosy of our age and how I felt Christ would respond to it."

This year, Bono worked within the celebrity world as well to focus attention on anti-poverty causes. In May, he attracted scores of celebrities, including Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, and, surprisingly, the Rev. Pat Robertson, to appear in public service announcements for the ONE Campaign to Make Poverty History (Bono was one of the founders), which is calling on the U.S. government to raise by 1 percent the amount of aid it provides to Africa. And on July 3, he helped organize, and participated in, the "Live 8" series of rock concerts that focused the world's attention on Africa in order to pressure international leaders meeting for the G8 Summit to increase aid to Africa and forgive African nations' debts.

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To learn more about The ONE Campaign,

click here

. For more information on DATA,

click here

.



_Related Features
  • Bono: The Beliefnet Interview
  • Bono, Religion, and God
  • Can Rockers and Religious Leaders End Poverty?
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