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John Lennon

John Lennon

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Also Known As: John Ono Lennon, John Winston Lennon Died: December 8, 1980
Born: October 9, 1940 Cause of Death: Murder (Shot to Death)
Birth Place: Liverpool, England, GB Profession: musician, actor, writer, composer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

r him with candlelit services outside the Dakota on both his birthdate and the day his life was ended. (1974). Lennon and Pang returned to New York in 1974, which was followed by a period of extensive writing and recording. An attempted album of oldies covers with Phil Spector fell apart, with Lennon later re-recording the tracks for his 1975 solo LP Rock 'n Roll. But 1973 saw the release of the gold album Mind Games, followed by collaborations with Elton John, David Bowie (Lennon co-wrote his No. 1 single "Fame") and Mick Jagger. In 1974, he and Pang returned to New York, and Lennon performed his final live appearance in front of a major audience at a concert by Elton John at Madison Square Garden. Lennon signed the papers that dissolved The Beatles' partnership in 1975, and for the first time in almost half a decade, he and McCartney began regarding each other with something approaching warmth.In 1975, Pang and Lennon ended their unusual relationship, and he reconciled with Ono. On October 9th of that year â¿¿ Lennon's 35th birthday â¿¿ Ono gave birth to their son, Sean Ono Lennon, later a respected musician in his own right. The event was little short of a miracle, as Ono had miscarried...

r him with candlelit services outside the Dakota on both his birthdate and the day his life was ended.

(1974).

Lennon and Pang returned to New York in 1974, which was followed by a period of extensive writing and recording. An attempted album of oldies covers with Phil Spector fell apart, with Lennon later re-recording the tracks for his 1975 solo LP Rock 'n Roll. But 1973 saw the release of the gold album Mind Games, followed by collaborations with Elton John, David Bowie (Lennon co-wrote his No. 1 single "Fame") and Mick Jagger. In 1974, he and Pang returned to New York, and Lennon performed his final live appearance in front of a major audience at a concert by Elton John at Madison Square Garden. Lennon signed the papers that dissolved The Beatles' partnership in 1975, and for the first time in almost half a decade, he and McCartney began regarding each other with something approaching warmth.

In 1975, Pang and Lennon ended their unusual relationship, and he reconciled with Ono. On October 9th of that year â¿¿ Lennon's 35th birthday â¿¿ Ono gave birth to their son, Sean Ono Lennon, later a respected musician in his own right. The event was little short of a miracle, as Ono had miscarried three previous times. Lennon turned his back on the music industry and devoted his full energies to raising his son and attempting to rekindle his long dormant relationship with Julian, whom he had seen sporadically during the 1970s (and who would develop a music career of his own in the mid-1980s). For the next five years, Lennon stayed largely out of the spotlight; he was the best man at actor Peter Boyle's wedding in 1977, and received McCartney at his home in the Dakota apartment in New York on several occasions, most notably on the evening in 1976 that Lorne Michaels made an appeal for all four Beatles to reunite on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ). Both men considered it for a laugh, but were too tired to carry it through. He also fulfilled a lifelong dream of learning to sail, and traveled to Bermuda with a small crew in 1980. The angry young man of the 1960s and 1970s was settling into a content state as he approached his 40th year, happy to be nothing more than, as he called it, "a bread-baking house husband" and doting father, while "Mother" (his pet name for Ono) ran the lucrative Lennon business in the office downstairs in their high-end Manhattan apartment building, the Dakota.

The trip to Bermuda proved fruitful for Lennon beyond his sailing aspirations. He had been writing and recording the occasional song in New York, but after arriving in the Caribbean, he was seized by the creative spark and began writing new material and reworking existing songs. Ono herself was working on new material â¿¿ her singing career had survived the brickbats of her earliest critics and was finding new appreciation in punk and avant-garde circles â¿¿ so by August of 1980, the pair had enough material to fill not one, but two albums. The first release would be Double Fantasy, which marked the first time Lennon and Ono had recorded an album together since Some Time in New York City. Unlike the harsh and overly political tone of that album, Double Fantasy had a gentler vibe, befitting Lennon's newfound homemaking happiness. Songs like "(Just Like) Starting Over," a tribute to the mending of his relationship to Ono; "Watching the Wheels," about his days as a house husband; and his achingly beautiful tribute to Sean, "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)," were met with overwhelmingly positive response by listeners, who sent the songs to the top of the charts and the album itself to the Top 20 in the U.S. A jubilant and recharged Lennon and Ono began rehearsals for a projected follow-up, titled Milk and Honey.

But their newfound happiness with both family and career was about to come to an unbearable end that no one could have predicted. On Dec. 8, 1980, Lennon and Ono were returning from the studio to the Dakota around 10:50 p.m. As they approached their apartment complex, a deranged young man who claimed to be a fan, Mark David Chapman, who had waited outside the Dakota earlier that same day to have Lennon sign his copy of Double Fantasy, approached the couple and shot Lennon four times in the back, then calmly stepped outside to await his arrest, clutching his copy of J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye to his chest. The former Beatle was rushed by police on the scene to the Roosevelt Hospital, where he died of massive blood loss just 20 minutes later. Howard Cosell broke the news to America within minutes during an NFL football game. A massive vigil formed outside the Dakota that night and for days after, with tributes to the fallen artist soon spreading across the globe. A grief-stricken Ono asked for 10 minutes of silence on Dec. 14, 1980, and millions complied. Thousands gathered in Liverpool and Central Park in New York to pay their respects, many crying, holding candles and chanting "Give Peace a Chance." Ono would later oversee the construction of Strawberry Fields, a memorial garden situated across from the Dakota, which opened on Lennon's birthday in 1985.

Lennon's senseless death was memorialized by countless artists and musicians, including Paul Simon, Queen, and Elton John â¿¿Sean Lennon's godfather, who penned his own tribute to his friend, "Empty Garden (Hey, Hey Johnny)" in 1982 â¿¿ as well as the three remaining Beatles who, more than anyone, were shell-shocked. Putting any remaining personal rancor aside, McCartney and Starr reunited with Harrison for the song "All Those Years Ago" from his Somewhere in England LP, and McCartney penned the incredibly touching "Here Today" for his Tug of War album in 1982. Lennon's own final recordings shot up the charts in the wake of his passing, and Ono worked tirelessly to make sure that his recordings â¿¿ both previously issued and unreleased â¿¿ and legacy were preserved for his ever-growing legion of fans. Two of those unreleased songs, "Free As a Bird" and "Real Love," were reworked by the surviving Beatles for the massive "Beatles Anthology" project, and released as singles in 1995 and 1996.

In the decades since his death, Lennon was essentially canonized by the press and fans for his independent streak, immense songwriting talents, and tireless campaigning for peace. In 1991, he received an honorary Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammy Awards, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo performer in 1994 (The Beatles had been inducted as a group in 1988). Parks, airports, and even a minor planet in 1983 were named in his honor. In 2002, the BBC listed him eighth in a list of the 100 Greatest Britons. And in 2007, Ono dedicated a memorial to her husband in Iceland, the Imagine Peace Tower, which generated a beam of light into the sky each year between October 9 and December 8.

Lennon's music found new admirers every year thanks to compilations and reissues supervised by Ono. A feature film on Lennon's life called simply "Imagine: John Lennon" was released to wide acclaim in 1988. She and the other surviving Beatles also collaborated with the French acrobatic troupe Cirque du Soleil on their show "Love," which was built entirely around Beatles songs reworked and re-imagined by their original producer, George Martin. The production debuted at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas in 2006, and Ono accompanied McCartney, Starr, and Olivia Harrison to the show's one-year anniversary in 2007. That same year, teenaged girls around the world fell in love with Lennon's music with The Beatles when it was featured in Julie Taymor's romantic fantasy film "Across the Universe." It was apparent that Lennon's persona â¿¿ that of an angry young man; a fragile man; a man with faults he shared with the world like no other â¿¿ would never be forgotten, as each year, even decades later, fans of all ages continued to hono

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Erection (1971) Director
2.
  Rape (1969) Assoc (see note)
3.
  Gimme Some Truth: The Making of the "Imagine" Album (2000) Segment Director ("Making Of Imagine")
4.
  John and Yoko's Imagine (1990) Director

CAST: (feature film)

3.
 LennonNYC (2010)
4.
 Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, The (1995) The Dirty Mac--Band Member
5.
 Ten For Two (1989) Himself
6.
 Imagine: John Lennon (1988) Narration
8.
 Dynamite Chicken (1972)
10.
 Let It Be (1970)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised by aunt Mary Elizabeth Smith in Liverpool after parents separated
1955:
Started first music group "The Quarrymen"
1957:
Paul McCartney and George Harrison joined the group
1961:
Newly-named "Beatles" discovered by promoter Brian Epstein; first commercial record, "My Bonnie"
1962:
EMI signed group (which now included Ringo Starr); first hit records released
1963:
The Beatles rocketed to worldwide stardom
1966:
Met Yoko Ono at London art gallery
1968:
Lennon and Ono arrested "for possession of cannabis"
1969:
Married Yoko Ono; held "Bed-In for Peace"; legally changed middle name to "Ono"; formed "Plastic Ono Band"; returned MBE to Queen Elizabeth
1971:
Best-selling album <i>Imagine</i> released
1974:
Made last public performance (Nov. 28) at Madison Square Garden
1976:
Given resident status in U.S. after years of wrangling with State Department
1980:
Shot to death by deranged fan Mark David Chapman outside of NYC home on Dec. 8, 1980
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Education

Quarry Bank High School: -
Dovedale Primary School: -
Liverpool College of Art: - 1957

Notes

He won an additional five Grammy Awards and an Oscar shared with The Beatles.

In June 2001, it was announced that the Liverpool Airport would be renamed the Liverpool John Lennon Airport in the musician's honor. The actual re-naming occurred in March 2002.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Cynthia Powell. Married on August 23, 1962; divorced in 1968.
wife:
Yoko Ono. Conceptual artist, musician. Born in Tokyo, Japan on February 18, 1933; married from March 20, 1969 until Lennon's death.
companion:
May Pang.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Fred Lennon. Separated from John's mother c. 1943.
mother:
Julia Lennon. Killed in a traffic accident in 1957.
aunt:
Mary Elizabeth Smith. Raised Lennon after his parents separated in 1941; born in 1903; died on December 6, 1991.
half-sister:
Ingrid Pedersen. Born c. 1944; was product of affair between Julia Lennon and unidentified soldier; given up for adoption at birth; Lennon reportedly searched for her after 1964; revealed her identity in August 1998.
half-sister:
Julia. Mother, Julia Lennon.
half-sister:
Jacqui. Mother, Julia Lennon.
step-daughter:
Kyoko Cox. Daughter of Yoko Ono and her first husband, Tony Cox.
son:
John Charles Julian Lennon. Musician. Born on April 8, 1963; mother, Cynthia Powell.
son:
Sean Taro Ono Lennon. Born on October 9, 1975; mother, Yoko Ono.
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Bibliography close complete biography

"In His Own Write"
"A Spaniard in the Works"
"The Last Days of John Lennon" Birch Lane Press
"We All Shine On: The Stories Behind Every John Lennon Song 1970-80" Carlton
"Lennon in America" Cooper Square Press
"Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon"
"Lennon Remembers: The Full <i>Rolling Stone</i> Interviews from 1970" Verso Books
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