December 1st, 1971: John Lennon and Yoko Ono release “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” in the United States.
John Lennon was a founding member of The Beatles, Lennon formed a songwriting partnership with Paul McCartney that became one of the most successful and famous in the history of music. Born in Liverpool, Lennon was in the group the Quarrymen which eventually developed into the Beatles in 1960.
As part of the best-selling group in music history, Lennon wrote or co-wrote many of the band’s biggest hits. His rebellious nature gave his writings, interviews and work a notably acerbic and sardonic wit. After the group broke up in 1970, Lennon embarked on a successful solo career with his wife Yoko Ono. This included the hit 1971 single “Imagine”.
His political activism, particularly in protesting against the Vietnam War, made him a controversial figure; the White House under Richard Nixon engaged in lengthy attempts to deport him.
In 1975 he withdrew from the music business to raise his son, Sean, but returned in 1980 to release the album Double Fantasy, with Yoko Ono. Three weeks after its release he was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman outside his Manhattan apartment. His death triggered an outpouring of grief on an unprecedented scale throughout the world.
Born: October 9, 1940
Birthplace: Liverpool, United Kingdom
Died: December 8, 1980 (aged 40)
Cause of Death: Murdered
Yoko Ono was the second wife of John Lennon. Early on, she was criticized for her influence over Lennon and his music, and blamed for the breakup of the Beatles.
Public opinion of her shifted over time, thanks in large part to her significant philanthropic contributions and her role in the feminist movement.
Born: February 18, 1933
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Age: 88 years old