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Bono was born Paul David Hewson on May 10, 1960, in Ballymum, Dublin, Ireland. His mother Iris, was Protestant and his father Bobby, was Roman Catholic. Raised in the Church of Ireland, Paul avoided becoming attached to a particular denomination. When Paul was 14, his mother died, closely after the death of her own father. This traumatic event struck young Paul very hard. On the other hand it allowed Paul to connect with fellow U2 band member Larry Mullen, Jr. because he too lost his mother at an early age.

Paul attended the Mount Temple Comprehensive School, the first Catholic- Protestant mixed school in Ireland. It was during his school days when Paul acquired his trademark name "Bono" which was cut down from the original: Bono Vox of O'Connell Street . The name came from the Latin bona vox, which means "good voice," and was also the name brand of a hearing aid company. O'Connell Street is where Bono grew up. Paul received the name "Bono" for being a member of Lypton Village, the neighborhood teen performance group. Lypton Village encouraged Bono to develop an interest in music. The gang performed several "exhibitions" and ultimately lead to the creation of two bands: U2 and the Virgin Prunes. In 1976, 16-year-old Paul Hewson met Larry Mullen, Jr., and the two formed the band, now known as U2 .

Bono married his high school sweetheart, Alison Stewart, in 1982. Together they have four children, Jordan (1989), Memphis Eve (1991), Elijah Bob Patricius Guggi Q (1999), and John Abraham (2001). He and his family reside in Dublin. In addition to being a family man, activist, and musician, in 1992, Bono purchased a hotel with fellow band member Edge, transforming it into one of the most stylish hotels in Dublin.