Lennon was born October 9, 1940, at a time when World War II was raging in Europe. A lot of people thought that Liverpool was under attack by Nazi Germany when John was born, but he was actually born during a lull in the bombing.
His parents separated when he was 3. He was raised by his aunt Mimi from the age of 5.
His mother Julia was killed by a drunk driver when John was 18.
His son Julian was from his first wife, Cynthia. He had his son Sean with Yoko.
He and Yoko hosted The Mike Douglas Show for a week in February, 1972.
He and Yoko appeared naked on the cover of Rolling Stone in 1981. Lennon was on the first cover when the magazine launched in 1967 - they used a still from his movie How I Won The War.
He had a cat named Jesus.
Yoko donated many of his belongings for an exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Among the items are the bloodstained glasses he was wearing when he was shot.
Yoko still owns the New York City apartment she and John used to live in. He was shot outside the building on December 8, 1980.
He was named Rolling Stone magazine's first "Man Of The Year" in 1969. That same year he was named "Man Of The Decade" by the British media and was filmed by ATV.
John Winston Lennon was his birth name - after Winston Churchill. He later had "Ono" added to his middle name, although he never dropped "Winston," as the law wouldn't allow it. He became John Winston Ono Lennon, but only referred to himself as John Ono Lennon.
He was involved in so much radical activity that the FBI had 216 pounds worth of files about him. These are all available to the public thanks to the Freedom of Information Act.
While Lennon was served a deportation order from the US in 1972, he stayed and eventually got a green card (signifying a US residency) in 1976.
Lennon once returned a "Member British Empire" medal to Queen Elizabeth, citing Britain's support of US troops in Vietnam and its own involvement in Biafra.
Lennon died on Jim Morrison's Birthday. (thanks, rikki - Rochester, MI)
When he was in art college, he dated a girl named Thelma Pickles. (thanks, Adam - Wrexham, Wales)
He appeared as Winston Legthigh in The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus
in 1968 with a band that was put up especially for the show, The Dirty Mac. It consisted of Lennon on vocals and rhythm guitar, Eric Clapton on lead guitar, Mitch Mitchell on drums, and Keith Richards on bass. They sang "Yer Blues
", originally done by The Beatles. (thanks, Patrickman - Makati City)
Without his glasses on, Lennon was legally blind. (thanks, Sarah - London, England)
The number 9 appeared many times in his music and life. He was born on the 9th. Although he died on the 8th in the US, it was the 9th in his home country. He had songs titled "#9 Dream" and "Revolution 9." (thanks, John - Flint, MI)
In 2006, the film The US vs. John Lennon was released. The movie documents Lennon's evolution, between 1966 and 1976, from Beatle to solo artist to social activist. As the film documents, Lennon's antiwar activism brought him under the scrutiny of the Nixon administration and the FBI. In the liner notes to the CD that comes along with the film, Yoko Ono wrote: "Never in a million years, did we think that promoting world peace could be dangerous. Were we naive? Yes, on that account, we were. John sings: 'Nobody told me there'd be days like these.' That was his true confession. These songs have become relevant all over again. It's almost as if John wrote these songs for what we are going through now." (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
In his later life, Lennon was affected by unusual eating disorders brought on by his anxiety that he was overweight. He probably weighed about or under 135 pounds for the last 10 years of his life, and he often looks emaciated in photographs.
In 2002, Lennon was voted into eight place on the 100 Greatest Britons list. Winston Churchill, whom John expressed a particular dislike for, so much so that he had his middle name changed from Winston to Ono after he married Yoko, was voted into first place. (thanks, Jonathon - Clermont, FL, for above 2)
May Pang became Lennon's personal assistant when he and Yoko Ono moved to New York City, and she became his lover when John and Yoko were having marital problems in 1973. In his 2005 book Lennon Revealed
, Larry Kane states: "This friendship and romance lasted 10 years. To ignore that friendship and their time together would be a gross attempt at revising history."
Lennon was 17 when he formed his first band, The Black Jacks. They were made up entirely of classmates at Quarry Bank Grammar School in Liverpool, and almost immediately after they started, they changed their name to The Quarrymen, the group that would eventually become The Beatles. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 2)
When the actor Peter Boyle got married in 1977, Lennon was his best man. (thanks, Jason Kouns - Peoria, IL)
May Pang (who was John Lennon's live-in lover in the mid-1970s when Lennon took a break from his marriage to Yoko Ono), published a book of photos in 2008 called Instamatic Karma
. She took the pictures during Lennon's "Lost Weekend" (which lasted 18 months) with her.
His last TV interview was on The Tomorrow Show With Tom Snyder in 1975. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 2)
Yoko refused to hold a funeral for Lennon, as she felt "his spirit would live forever."