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Across The Universe Of John Lennon In 39 Pictures

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

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On Oct. 9, 1940, John Lennon was born in Liverpool, England...

For many, his message of peace and love would come to define an entire generation of youth. His band, the Beatles, would go on to become the best-selling musical act in history, with estimated sales of over 1 billion units worldwide, 20 Billboard no. 1 singles, 10 Grammy Awards, an even an Academy Award. But aside from his profound talents, John Lennon was a father, a husband, and a dreamer...

Mark and Colleen Hayward / Getty Images

John Lennon as a child with his mother, Julia Lennon, 1949. To date, this is the only known photograph of John with his mother, who died after being struck by a car when John was only 17.

(Left) A photo booth picture of John before the Beatles. (Right) The original Beatles lineup (from left to right: George Harrison, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney stand outside Paul's Liverpool home. Ringo Starr was not to join the band for another two years.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

The Beatles perform in a Liverpool club prior to signing their first recording contract, 1962. The original drummer, Pete Best, in the background.

Central Press / Getty Images

When the Beatles arrived in America, they were greeted with mass hysteria. Here, a group of Beatles fans scream as their heroes perform on the The Ed Sullivan Show.

Evening Standard / Getty Images

April 1964: Lennon greets the press with his wife, Cynthia, at the Dorchester Hotel, London. Lennon and Cynthia will divorce four years later in 1968.

AP Photo

August 1966: All across America, people host "Beatlemania Bonfires," burning piles of the band's albums and merchandise in protest against John Lennon's remark that "The Beatles are more popular than Jesus."


Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the band's eighth studio album, released June 1967. The record won the band four Grammy Awards in 1968, including Album of the Year.

Michael Webb / Getty Images

Lennon and his then-girlfriend Yoko Ono join Paul McCartney at the London Pavilion at the premiere of the new Beatles film Yellow Submarine. John and Paul are holding apples, the symbol of their newly formed company, Apple Corps.

Keystone / Getty Images

John and his wife of a week, Yoko Ono, stage a "bed-in for peace" in the Presidential Suite of the Amsterdam Hilton, March 1969. It was their intention to stay in bed for seven days, "as a protest against war and violence in the world."

Three Lions / Getty Images

In 1971, billboards spring across New York City with the peace message "War Is Over!" The message from John Lennon and Yoko Ono was to protest against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, and was simultaneously displayed in Montreal, Toronto, Los Angeles, and six European cities.

Bebeto Matthews / AP

A makeshift peace sign of flowers lies on top John Lennon's "Strawberry Fields" memorial in New York's Central Park. The memorial is near the Dakota building where Lennon lived with his wife and son, Sean.

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