Lennon revealed his rebellious nature and irreverent wit on television, in films such as A Hard Day's Night (1964), in press conferences and interviews. He channelled his fame and penchant for controversy into his work as a peace activist, artist, and author.
He had one son, Julian, with his first wife, Cynthia, and one son, Sean, with his second wife, avant-garde artist Yoko Ono.
Lennon was murdered in New York City on December 8, 1980, as he and Ono returned home after a recording session.
In 2002, respondents to a BBC poll about the 100 Greatest Britons voted Lennon into eighth place.