It was forty years ago today, that musical legend, John Lennon was assassinated outside of his New York City apartment building. Only three days earlier, he had done an interview with Rolling Stone that lasted nine hours. That story was famously covered by photographer, Annie Leibovitz, who is credited for the artistic photograph taken of Lennon curled up next to the fully clothed, Yoko Ono.
Born on October 9, 1940, John Winston Lennon, of Liverpool England, was an English song-writer and peace activist. He was famously known as the founder of the world-renowned rock band, The Beatles. He partnered in songwriting with the band’s bassist, Paul McCartney, for 20 No.1 hits on the Billboard chart between 1962 and 1970. However, including his solo-career, Lennon had 25 No.1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and in 1981, his album, Double Fantasy, won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Lennon was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1997 and twice in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; once as a member of the Beatles in 1988 and again in 1994 as a solo artist. He also appeared in several films and documentaries most often as himself.
A Tragic Murder
On December 8, 1980 at approximately 5pm, Lennon signed a copy of his album for a fan named Mark David Chapman before heading out with his wife for a recording session. Following the session, the two returned to their Manhattan apartment at around 10:50pm. They got out of the vehicle and walked towards the entrance of their building when Lennon was four times at point-blank range; twice in the back and twice in the shoulder. He was rushed to Roosevelt Hospital in a police cruiser and was pronounced dead on arrival at approximately 11pm.
“There is no funeral for John… [he] loved and prayed for the human race. Please do the same for him.”Yoko Ono | Statement regarding Lennon’s death the following day
His remains were cremated and his ashes were then scattered in New York’s Central Park, the eventual placement of the Strawberry Fields memorial. Mark David Chapman would plead guilty to second-degree murder and be sentenced to 20-years-to-life.
The Beatles also issued a touching joint statement on their website to Remembering John Today.