John Lennon

John Lennon
Associated Press

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John Lennon
Music: East side of the 1700 block of Vine Street
Rock Musician
Born Oct. 9, 1940 in Liverpool, United Kingdom
Died Dec. 8, 1980 of shooting in The Dakota, NY

John Lennon's goal as a teenager in Liverpool was to be as big as Elvis Presley. At the time, he was merely thinking of the rewards of rock stardom; the fame, the money and the excitement. How could he have dreamed that he, like Elvis, would end up giving more to his audiences than they ever gave to him?

Lennon who was murdered Dec. 8 [1980] as he returned with his wife, Yoko Ono, to the Dakota apartments where they lived, touched his generation in the 1960s as much as Elvis touched his in the 1950s.

With the Beatles he helped chronicle the attitudes of a generation that was preoccupied with social exploration. Everything, it seemed, had to be re-examined in the 1960s.

If Elvis signaled the awakening of the "youth culture" in this country and around much of the world, the Beatles represented the growing up of that culture. First we had the vitality of the Beatles. Then, the eloquence of their songwriting. Finally, the power of their message.

Lennon, the one most responsible for the group's social conscience, rejected the idea of the Beatles as leaders. To him, the foursome was simply part of the '60s. "We moved together," he said in October. "We didn't rush off on our own and yell at everyone to follow."

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Points of interest

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1970 Best Original Song Score Let It Be Win*
    * A joint nomination shared with other people.

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