John Winston Lennon was born in Liverpool on October 9 1940, to parents Julia and Alfred Lennon. John's father was away at sea for much of his life, which meant that Julia was left to bring up the baby on her own.
Julia felt her sister Mary would be much more of a caring parent and she asked her to take in the youngster. Mary and George agreed and brought John up as their own, although they never hid his parentage from him. Even though he did not live with his mother, he saw her quite a lot; in fact she taught John how to play the banjo. It was during these teen years that John formed his first group, The Quarrymen, while still at Quarry Bank High School. John had no interest in school regimentation, and subsequently failed his exams. But he loved his art and music lessons.
On July 6 1957 The Quarrymen played at a church garden fete and John was introduced to a young man called Paul McCartney. Despite John's lack of interest at school he was thrilled to be accepted at the Liverpool College of Art. He met another student called Cynthia Powell and they began dating. Although John had no intention of giving up his music, the group had gone through a name change to The Silver Beatles, then just The Beatles.
In 1958 John learned that his mother, who he had become quite close to, had been killed in a road accident. He was devastated; it was something he never quite came to terms with. He began to throw himself into his music and the Beatles left for a gruelling tour of the pubs and clubs of Hamburg. While they were there John's best friend Stu Sutcliffe, who played bass in the group suffered a severe head injury, and on April 10 1961, John received yet more bad news that his best friend had died.
The Beatles returned to Liverpool in July 1961, John took up his relationship again with Cynthia; on August 23 1962 they became Mr and Mrs Lennon.
On April 8 1963 John became a father for the first time when his son Julian was born. But the marriage was not to last, it was difficult to maintain the relationship and the band at the height of their popularity, long hours away from each other just meant they drifted apart. And in 1968 after returning from a trip to India, John and Cynthia divorced.
John had begun to see a young Japanese artist; her name was Yoko Ono. On March 26 1969 on the Island of Gibraltar John married for the second time. They had both become involved in the peace movement, and their honeymoon was spent as a much publicised bed-in.
In 1975 John became a father again for the second time when his son was born on his forty-fifth birthday. Thrilled to be a father again he vowed to stay at home and raise his son.
But events took a tragic turn, and on December 8 1980 returning to his home in New York John Lennon was shot and killed.