John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE (born John Winston Lennon; 9 October 1940 - 8 December 1980) was an English rock musician, singer, writer, songwriter, artist, actor and peace activist who gained worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles.
In his solo career, Lennon wrote and recorded many songs such as "Give Peace a Chance" and "Imagine". Lennon revealed his rebellious nature and wit on television, in films such as A Hard Day's Night, in books such as In His Own Write, and in press conferences and interviews. He was controversial through his work as a peace activist, artist, and author.
Lennon had two sons: Julian Lennon, with his first wife Cynthia Lennon, and Sean Ono Lennon, with his second wife, avant-garde artist Yoko Ono. After a self-imposed retirement from 1976 to 1980, Lennon reemerged with a comeback album, but was murdered one month later in New York City on 8 December 1980.
In 2002, respondents to a BBC poll on the 100 Greatest Britons voted Lennon into eighth place. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Lennon number 38 on its list of "The Immortals: The Fifty Greatest Artists of All Time" and ranked The Beatles at number one.