Imagine - John Lennon by Octavio Ocampo

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John Lennon was born on October 9, 1940 to Alfred and Julia Lennon. John's father, a merchant seaman, deserted his family when John was four years old. He was sent to live with Julia's sister Mimi and her husband George. The early trauma of being left by his parents left severe emotional scars on John, which years later, he would attempt to heal with the whole world watching.

From the moment he heard American rock and roll, John's life was forever altered. On July 6, 1957, he met 14 year-old Paul McCartney. Paul would join the Quarrymen shortly thereafter and a legendary partnership was formed. The next eight years of Beatles fame, fortune, and trail blazing would see John become half of one of the most successful and celebrated songwriting partnerships in history. However, those years were not always happy ones for John. He found that he often had to be less than who he really was in order to retain the popularity of the Beatles, hiding what he really felt rather than being allowed to speak his mind. He would turn to drugs and later, meditation as all the Beatles did, in search of answers and in attempt to transcend his pain, but these proved dead ends for him.

Before and after the Beatles break-up in 1970, John and Yoko fought for a host of political and spiritual causes, all centered on the themes of peace, love and justice. Although they were heavily berated for their often-outlandish exploits, both musical and political, John would come to be as loved for his ideology as for his music. As a solo artist, John was able to bare his soul, as he never could as a Beatle, and getting in touch with his childhood pain and anger. After the release of, Imagine, featuring his signature song of the same name, John and Yoko left England to live in New York City.

On December 8, 1980, the unthinkable happened. John Lennon was assassinated by a deranged fan named Mark David Chapman. The worldwide outpouring of grief and outrage over this tragedy may have been excessive in intensity and amount, had it been for virtually anybody else. The world lost a beloved artist, a modern-day philosopher, an adored role model, and a most remarkable human being.

In Loving Memory (October 9, 1940-December 8, 1980)