16 Crazy Facts About Bono: His Hobbies, How He Got His Nickname, and More

bono in sunglasses looking straight ahead
Image from Shutterstock.

Bono is a singer, philanthropist, activist, and songwriter, most well-known for his spot as the lead singer of U2. However, that’s not all you should know about this incredible artist.

If you’re a fan of the incredible Bono, sit down and get ready to dive into 16 facts about Bono.

1. He Lost His Mother at 14

songs about death a pot with in loving memory on it with flowers in it
Image by Sandy Millar on Unsplash.

Unfortunately, Bono suffered immense tragedy at a young age, which shaped him into the person he is today. His mother had a brain aneurysm and died in a Dublin bed when he was only 14, changing him into a different and stronger person as he moved into his career.

2. Bono isn’t His Real Name

bono in pink sunglasses
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Although it sounds like an incredible name, Bono isn’t actually the real title of the singer, activist, and philanthropist. Bono’s real name is Paul David Hewson.

3. He’s Been Married for Three Decades

bono and his wife next to each other. Both are wearing black
Image from Shutterstock.

Bono has been married to Ali Hewson, an activist, and businesswoman, for three decades, growing together throughout his career. They met when she was 12 at Mount Temple Comprehensive School.

4. He’s an Honorary Knight

three knights in armor on horseback
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Next on our list of facts about Bono is that he is an honorary knight, declared so in an informal ceremony at the house of David Reddaway, British Ambassador. Although it’s an honorable title, Bono doesn’t want anyone labeling him as a sir.

5. He Spoke at Harvard

image of the harvard campus
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In 2001, Bono delivered the class address at Harvard to an excited group of graduating students at the incredible school. He spoke on many things, including how difficult it is to make a difference as a rock star.

6. He Doesn’t Like the Name U2

U2 performing on stage
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Bono is a member of the incredible U2 but doesn’t like the name the band settled on. He said they came up with it to sound futuristic, but he doesn’t enjoy it and wishes it were different. 

7. He Has Four Children

bono with his wife and two of his daughters on the red carpet
Image of Bono, his wife, and 2 daughters from Shutterstock.

Bono has been married for more than three decades, and in that time, he’s had four children with his wife. He’s father to Elijah Hewson, John Hewson, Eve Hewson, and Jordan Hewson.

8. He Lets Fans Come Onstage

bono against a green background
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Next on our list of facts about Bono is that he is known to let fans onstage, though things have gone awry sometimes. It usually goes fine, though. For example, he once allowed a Phoenix man to play the guitar with him.

9. He’s an Activist

bono signing autographs
Image from Shutterstock.

Bono is a well-known activist known for his fight against issues such as AIDs and extreme poverty in Africa. He isn’t afraid to use his voice and even founded ONE, a foundation designed to fight against extreme poverty, especially in Africa.

10. He Tried to be an Actor

an action device on a movie set
Image by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Bono tried his hand in at a few acting gigs, but he was never as successful in the movie theater as he was as a singer and an activist. A few of his acting attempts included Across the Universe and The Million Dollar Hotel.

11. He Was Born in Dublin

the street corner which hosts the temple bar in dubling
Image by Matheus Camara Da Silva on Unsplash

Bono was born in Dublin, Ireland, on the 10th of May, 1960 in the Rotunda Hospital. He was the second child born in his family and has a brother, Norman, who is eight years older than him.

12. His Nickname Came From a Hearing-Aid Store

an upclose photo of an ear with a hearing aid
Image by Mark Paton on Unsplash

Bono sounds like a cool nickname – but he originally got it from a local hearing-aid store in Dublin. It was named “Bonovax,” which he eventually shortened into “Bono” to match his stage presence.

13. He’s Had Many Nicknames

bono in sunglasses looking straight ahead
Image from Shutterstock.

Next on our list of facts about Bono is that he’s had many nicknames during his life. A few of the most popular include “B-Mna” “Bon Murray,” “Bono Vox,” “The Mirrorball Man,” and more. It’s amazing any of them stuck.

14. He’s A Chess Player

a light brown wooden cheesboard with pieces
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Bono loves playing chess, even reporting once that if he hadn’t become a famous musician, he would have pursued professional chess as a career. He was a member of the Adare Chess Club, where he experienced substantial success.

15. He’s a Huge Collaborator 

bruce springsteen on stage pointing at the audience
Bruce Springsteen, image from Shutterstock.

Second to last on our list of facts about Bono is that he is a massive collaborator. Over the years, he’s worked with artists like Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Green Day, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan, to name a few.

Related: How Did Johnny Cash Die? 

16. He Was Thrown Out of School

a stack of books, an apple, and abc blocks on a table
Image by Element5 Digital on Unsplash.

Bono was allegedly thrown out of St Patrick’s school in Dublin for throwing dog feces at his Spanish teacher. He also flunked out of the Irish language class at National University.

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Written by Hope Davis

Long-time music lover Hope became a full-time writer in 2020 after being laid off from her regular job due to COVID-19. She now spends her time traveling the world to see her favorite bands while writing about them!


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