John Lennon was one of the original members and primary songwriters of The Beatles, one of the most famous and influential rock bands of all time. He remains one of the most beloved musicians in the world, and generations of fans still feel his artistic impact.
John Winston Lennon was born on Oct. 9, 1940, in Liverpool, England, during a German air raid. John's mother, Julia, taught him how to play the banjo at a young age and also bought him his first guitar.
When he was 16, Elvis Presley's fame inspired him to start his first band, The Quarrymen. In 1957, he met Paul McCartney and invited him to join the band. This would be the nucleus of The Beatles, with Lennon and McCartney going on to become one of the most famous song-writing teams of all time.
The Beatles quickly became famous in England with John Lennon's hits such as "Please Please Me." In 1962, Lennon married his first wife, Cynthia. They had a child together, but divorced in 1968. The following year, Lennon married Yoko Ono.
After the Beatles broke up in 1970, Lennon released several solo albums before a deranged fan murdered him on Dec. 8, 1980, in front of his apartment building in New York City.