John Lennon was born in Liverpool, United Kingdom, on October 9, 1940. By 1957, Lennon had met Paul McCartney and George Harrison, and the three of them had begun playing music together. The group went through several name changes before settling on The Beatles. In 1962, following Ringo Starr’s replacement of Pete Best as the group’s drummer, the group released their first single, initiating a lengthy musical career that would lead to their becoming one of the most acclaimed bands of all time.
Lennon remained in the public eye after The Beatles disbanded through his solo music career, collaborative efforts with his wife Yoko Ono, and political activism for peaceful causes. On December 8, 1980, he welcomed a photographer from Rolling Stone magazine into his home, followed by an interview with a San Francisco disc jockey. Lennon and Ono departed their apartment around 5:00 p.m. to attend a recording session at the Record Plant Studio.
Before he could enter a waiting limousine, autograph-seeking fans stopped him, and he was happy to comply. Mark David Chapman, one of the fans, had a record signed and a photo taken with the celebrity. As Lennon and Ono made their way to the studio, Chapman remained in front of the couple’s residence.
Chapman was still waiting for Lennon’s return when he returned. Chapman observed Lennon as he exited the vehicle and walked towards his residence. Chapman pulled out a.38 Special revolver and fired five shots before entering. All but one of the bullets struck Lennon, but he was able to enter the building and notify the concierge that he had been shot.
Jose Perdomo, the building’s doorman, was able to take the gun away from Chapman. The assassin appeared to remove his coat and wait patiently for the police. Lennon was transported to the Roosevelt Hospital while Chapman was calmly and without incident removed. He was declared deceased upon arrival.
Chapman was subsequently convicted of second-degree mu*rder and given a sentence of 20 years to life. Two days after his de*ath, Lennon’s body was cremated, and his widow was given his ashes.