Credit: Shutterstock/John Lennon

Part of me suspects that I'm a loser, and the other part of me thinks I'm God Almighty

John Lennon was one of the most important and influential musicians of the 20th Century. His songwriting partnership with Paul McCartney was critical in the success of the Beatles, and came to define the sounds of the sixties, seventies, and beyond. Just as famous for his activism and politics as his music, Lennon was a truly inspirational figure for millions.

He was born in Liverpool in 1940. His father was absent, so he was raised by his mother and four sisters. He credited this upbringing as being his “first feminist education”, and being formative to his often non-conformist views of life. Young John’s life would be changed forever when he was given his first guitar at the age of 16. Just a year later he formed his first band, The Quarrymen, who would later become The Beatles. The Beatles remain one the best-selling musical acts of all time, and the Lennon-McCartney partnership is cited as the greatest songwriting collaboration ever, producing 16 number one singles in the UK alone.

As well as being one of the most accomplished musical talents to ever emerge from Britain, Lennon was a passionate advocate for world peace and social justice. With his second wife, Yoko Ono, Lennon staged a number of protests in the 1970s, becoming synonymous with the anti-vietnam movement in the USA. They became so influential President Richard Nixon ordered Lennon to be deported, as he felt that he was harming his reelection chances!

Lennon’s assassination in 1980 shocked the world, and impromptu memorial rallies were held across the globe. His legacy remains one of peace and hope for a better world.