Murdered, heroin and mother’s strange death – John Lennon’s tragic life explored

If John Legend hadn't been brutally assassinated The Beatles singer would be celebrating his 80th birthday today.

John was born on October 9, 1940, with bombs falling around the hospital in the midst of World War II as the life-long anti-war campaigner was brought into this cruel world.

His mother, Cynthia, and father Alfred, who was a merchant marine, decided to give him the middle name Winston in honour of the UK's Prime Minister of the time, Winston Churchill.

He grew to be one of the most famous singers of all time as part of the band, The Beatles, with Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

But, sadly, John's life was filled with tragedies that even all the fame and money in the world couldn't fix.

His assassination

It would be impossible to brush up on the star's tragedies without mentioning his horrific murder which shocked the entire world.

Lennon was gunned down by a crazed fan in front of his own home on December 8, 1980, when he was just 40 years old.

At the time, he was entering his luxurious apartment in New York when an "awkward" fan called Mark David Chapman approached him.

Chapman shot him four times up close with a 38-caliber revolver at roughly 4.30pm.

Lennon was rushed to hospital but as he continued to lose blood, he died en-route.

Creepily enough, this wasn't the first encounter Lennon and Chapman had that day.

Earlier in the day "timid" Chapman bumped into the star and asked him to sign his Double Fantasy album that he was holding and even asked for a photo with Lennon.

Lennon's pal, Paul Goresh, who was there with him snapped the photograph for the pair which is now one of the most chilling photographs of all time.

Six hours later, Chapman killed Lennon while still holding the signed album.

Chapman was sent to prison for life and has admitted his crime was for "attention, bottom line" and he has since said he "regrets" killing Lennon.

Troubled relationship with son

Lennon was all about preaching peace but according to his son Julian Lennon, he was "anything but peaceful" towards Julian and his mum, Lennon's ex-wife Cynthia.

Julian, who is from Lennon's first marriage, labelled his father a "hypocrite" during an interview with The Telegraph in 1998 for preaching about peace on earth but not for his family.

In 1968 Lennon left Julian's mum for Yoko Ono.

His son recalled how this made him feel during an interview with The Guardian.

He told the publication: "As a kid, I thought my dad was pretty happy – with the family, the family home and his place in the world.

"Who could have predicted that everything was about to change?"

Julian continued: "Then suddenly my dad literally disappeared off the face of the planet. At least, that’s how it seemed to me.

"He and Yoko Ono were deeply and publicly in love. And I felt as if my mum and I had been cast aside."

Julian said around 10 years past before he and his dad spoke and before his father's death, they were actively working on their relationship before it was taken away from them by Chapman.

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His useless father

Lennon's father and him reportedly had a very strained relationship, according to Ultimate Classic Rock.

His dad, Alfred, left Lennon's mum Julia in 1944 when Lennon was only three years old.

Lennon said he "never knew" his dad until he became famous then his father oddly started showing up in his life again.

The star gave his dad a second chance and once recalled how he met up with him but "still didn't want to know him".

They met once more in 1970 and Lennon reportedly grabbed his father by the throat and screamed at him.

Alfred died in 1975 and prior to his own death, Lennon expressed that he regrets how he handled their last meeting.

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His mother's heartbreaking death

From the age of four Lennon grew up with only one parent after his father Alfred walked out on him and his mum Julia.

But tragically, his mum was brutally taken from him when she died following a freak accident.

At the age of 44, Julia was on the way to a bus stop in Liverpool on July 15, 1958, when she was struck down by a car and died.

Lennon's mum died instantly after the car, which was being driven by an off-duty policeman, Eric Clague, when it collided with her.

Clague, who was a learner driver at the time of her death, was acquitted of all charges and given a short suspension from duty.

Beatle star Lennon was reportedly left traumatised by his mother's horrific death.

He went on to write two songs about her, Julia and Mother.

Addicted to heroin

It's said that Lennon's addiction to the deadly class-A drug heroin is one of the main reasons The Beatles split up.

During an interview at the 1968 exhibition at the Robert Fraser Gallery he said he would just sniff heroin and not inject it.

It was a time when the world didn't know much about the highly addictive drug which he reportedly took with Ono.

However, Lennon did rid himself of the drug but it reportedly took several attempts.

In 1980, after he wrote the song Cold Turkey, which was allegedly about his drug addiction, Lennon spoke out during an interview with the BBC and demanded that more be done to help people who turn to drugs.

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