On Dec. 8, 1980, the world lost a cultural icon when John Lennon was shot and killed outside of his apartment in New York. It’s hard to believe 40 years have passed since Lennon’s untimely death at the age of 40.
Of course, most people know Lennon as one of The Beatles, the Fab Four who took the whole world by storm in the 1960s after launching their music careers in England. Lennon, along with Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, created a string of albums and hits ranging from “Love Me Do” in 1962 until their final release of “Let It Be” in 1970.
To mark the somber anniversary of Lennon’s death, people gathered around the world to leave tributes to their musical hero, including at Strawberry Fields in New York’s Central Park, which was built as a memorial to Lennon. Fans left photos, flowers and candles on the park’s “Imagine” mosaic.
The two surviving Beatles (George Harrison died in 2001 from cancer) shared tributes on social media to their friend and former bandmate.
Drummer Ringo Starr posted a candid photo of himself and Lennon on Twitter, along with a loving memorial to his friend.
“Tuesday, 8 December 1980 we all had to say goodbye to John,” Starr posted. “Peace and love John. I’m asking every music radio station in the world sometime today play Strawberry Fields Forever. Peace and love.”
Tuesday, 8 December 1980 we all had to say goodbye to John peace and love John. I’m asking Every music radio station in the world sometime today play Strawberry Fields Forever. Peace and love. 😎✌️🌟❤️🎶🎼💝☮️ pic.twitter.com/dAEgekrvmW
— #RingoStarr (@ringostarrmusic) December 8, 2020
Paul McCartney, who was Lennon’s songwriting partner for many of The Beatles’ songs, also shared memories of his time with the late singer/songwriter, along with a photo of them together.
“A sad, sad day but remembering my friend John with the great joy he brought to the world,” McCartney wrote. “I will always be proud and happy to have known and worked with this incredible Scouser! X love Paul.”
A sad sad day but remembering my friend John with the great joy he brought to the world. I will always be proud and happy to have known and worked with this incredible Scouser! X love Paul#JohnLennon
📷 by Linda McCartney pic.twitter.com/oNL0ihzhvl
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) December 8, 2020
Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, was with him when he was shot. She also posted on social media, saying she and their sons, Sean and Julian, still miss him.
The death of a loved one is a hollowing experience.
After 40 years, Sean, Julian and I still miss him.
'Imagine all the people living life in peace.'
Yoko Ono Lennon#enoughisenough #peace #guncontrolnow #gunviolence #nra #guns #gunsafety #firearms #endgunviolence pic.twitter.com/TsHWuCdu2Y
— Yoko Ono (@yokoono) December 8, 2020
John Lennon has been gone for four decades, but his legacy continues thanks to countless fans around the world.