John Lennon

1940 - 1980

Pop singer and musician. Born in Liverpool (England), Lennon was brought up by his aunt in that city. His connection with Scotland was through another aunt, Elizabeth Sutherland, who lived in the Murrayfield district of Edinburgh. Between the ages of 9 and 16, Lennon spent summers with Elizabeth and her husband, Hugh Sutherland, in Edinburgh and at their croft in Durness.

Having begun playing with a skiffle band at school, he briefly attended Liverpool College of Art, where his musical career developed. At college he met his first wife Cynthia and the couple married in 1962. Lennon went on to great success with the pop group The Beatles, achieving remarkable international success, with hits such as Please Please Me (1963), A Hard Day's Night (1964), Help! (1965), Yellow Submarine (1969) and Let It Be (1970). Lennon was also involved in high-profile protests for social and economic change, such as his Bed-In with partner Yoko Ono, who he married in 1969. Following another visit to the Scottish Highlands the same year, Lennon, Ono and their family spent several days in the Lawson Memorial Hospital in Golspie following a car accident.

The Beatles broke up shortly afterwards and Lennon embarked on a new musical career with Ono, producing albums such as Imagine (1971). The couple settled in New York in 1971, but his involvement in the peace movement, and particularly his outspoken stance on the Vietnam War, brought threats of deportation from the USA. He returned his MBE (awarded 1965) in protest against British involvement in the Nigerian Civil War.

He was shot dead by a deranged 'fan' outside his home in New York. Amongst a host of memorials, including the renaming of Liverpool Airport in his honour, a garden in Durness was dedicated to him in 2002.

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