Today marks the 31st anniversary of John Lennon's death.
He was murdered by Mark David Chapman on December 8th, 1980 in front of his home, The Dakota, in New York City. John Lennon is famed for being one of the four Beatles. He was the mastermind behind some of their greatest hits, playing rhythm guitar and providing the main vocals. Lennon married Yoko Ono on March 20, 1969, shortly before the break-up of the Beatles.
Following the break-up, Lennon continued with music, proving to be a capable solo artist. He also played guitar on some of Ono's works. His solo works were controversial at the time, as the Cold War continued to brew. His pacifism often contended with government officials and the mood of the era. The US, at one point, denied him permanent residence because of the threat they thought he was to the war movement.
Despite these critiques, his music proved to be immensely popular with the anti-war movement, gaining an ever increasing following as Vietnam continued to rage. Lennon retired temporarily from music in 1975, when his son Sean Lennon was born. This retirement was so that he could spend more time with his family. He reemerged from his retirement five years later with his single "(Just Like) Starting Over."
Lennon was killed in front of his home at 10:50pm. He was pronounced dead at the hospital at 11:07pm. He was cremated on December 10th, 1980, and his ashes were scattered in New York's Central Park, where the Strawberry Fields memorial would later be placed. Lennon certainly left behind a musical legacy. His work with the Beatles have immortalized him as one of the most influential people of rock. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. Double Fantasy, the last album he released before his death, won the 1981 Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
Lennon known as a pacifist. This position put him at odds with many people, not least President Richard Nixon. His activism as a peace advocate garnered him the infamy of being a troublemaker to the US government during the years of Vietnam. However, his dedication to the cause, "Give Peace A Chance," is what makes him a hero and role model today. Not only was a promoter of world peace, but his actions were one of a man who knew what he wanted and believed in what he said. That alone was enough to draw in fans from across the world.
That determination and dedication are what defined John Lennon, and are what we continue to remember about him today.