The realization of label-free molecule specific imaging of morphology and chemical composition of tissue at subcellular spatial resolution in real time is crucial for many envisioned applications in medicine, e.g., precise surgical guidance and non-invasive histopathologic examination of tissue. Thus, new approaches for a fast and reliable in vivo and near in vivo (ex corpore in vivo) tissue characterization to supplement routine pathological diagnostics is needed. Spectroscopic imaging approaches are particularly important since they have the potential to provide a pathologist with adequate support in the form of clinically-relevant information under both ex vivo and in vivo conditions. In this contribution it is demonstrated, that multimodal nonlinear microscopy combining coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS), two photon excited fluorescence (TPEF) and second harmonic generation (SHG) enables the detection of characteristic structures and the accompanying molecular changes of widespread diseases, particularly of cancer and atherosclerosis. The detailed images enable an objective evaluation of the tissue samples for an early diagnosis of the disease status. Increasing the spectral resolution and analyzing CARS images at multiple Raman resonances improves the chemical specificity. To facilitate handling and interpretation of the image data characteristic properties can be automatically extracted by advanced image processing algorithms, e.g., for tissue classification. Overall, the presented examples show the great potential of multimodal imaging to augment standard intraoperative clinical assessment with functional multimodal CARS/SHG/TPEF images to highlight functional activity and tumor boundaries. It ensures fast, label-free and non-invasive intraoperative tissue classification paving the way towards in vivo optical pathology.