Cynthia Lennon, former wife of Beatle John Lennon, dies at 75
By KURTIS LEE AND AUGUST BROWN
April 1 2015
Cynthia Lennon, the first wife of Beatle John Lennon, sits behind copies of her newly released book entitled 'John' in 2005. (Jane Mingay / Associated Press)
Cynthia Lennon, the former wife of Beatle John Lennon, died on Wednesday at her home in Mallorca, Spain, a representative for her son confirmed. She was 75.
She died after a "short but brave battle with cancer" and her son, Julian Lennon, was at her bedside, according to a statement from the family. Julian also sent out a tweet announcing his mother's death.
Cynthia Lennon was married to the Beatles legend from 1962 until 1968. John was shot to death in 1980 at the age of 40.
John Lennon and wife Cynthia wait for a flight to New York at London Airport on Feb. 7, 1964.
Her impact on the Beatles was always covert, if not intentionally marginalized. When she became pregnant with Julian, thus threatening the band’s young-and-single image, manager Brian Epstein helped arrange their wedding on the condition that it be kept quiet even though the marriage was an open secret in the British music press.
In her book “A Twist of Lennon” Cynthia Lennon described her life with John as an “undercover existence,” and according to her memoirs, she spent her wedding night without John while the Beatles played a concert in Chester.
However, she does show up as a presence in several Beatles songs. Both “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” and “Good Night” were written about the young Julian while John and Cynthia were married. Paul McCartney’s “Hey Jude” was written as a comforting ballad for Julian during his parents’ separation.
John Lennon and wife Cynthia after the Beatles arrived home in London from their three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand on July 2, 1964.
Cynthia was born in Blackpool, England, and was the youngest of three children of Charles and Lillian Powell. She grew up in England and attended the Liverpool College of Art, where she met John in 1957.
On Nov. 8, 1968, Cynthia Lennon started divorce proceedings against John Lennon at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
After Cynthia and John divorced in 1968, John married Yoko Ono and had another son, Sean Lennon. After her divorce from John, Cynthia said her income was “never stable,” according to People. In her book, “John,” she talked about being mistreated by her ex-husband during their marriage.
Author Hunter Davies, who wrote the only authorized Beatles biography, described Cynthia as a “lovely woman” who was ill-treated by her famous husband, according to the Associated Press. He said that unlike John, she was “quiet and reserved and calm” and “not a hippy at all.”
Yoko Ono, John Lennon's widow; Julian Lennon; Sean Lennon, son with Ono; and Cynthia Lennon, his first wife and mother of Julian, pose at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York to celebrate Julian's concert at the Beacon Theater on Aug. 3, 1989.
In 1991, Cynthia auctioned off some of John's writing, including memorabilia he had collected over the years.
"I've enjoyed these things for 30 years," Cynthia told People at the time. "But it's time for a change."
The Los Angeles Times interviewed Cynthia in 1988, when she described how she and John were drawn to each other after suffering the loss of parents at a young age. Throughout her six-year marriage to John she was an “eternal optimist,” according to the 1988 interview.
The interview came around the time “Imagine,” a documentary about John, was released.
“I’d like this to be a culmination of sorts – of the good, the bad and the brilliant side of John Lennon, and not to have anything smoothed over.”
Sean Lennon, Yoko Ono, Cynthia Lennon and Julian Lennon attend the "Timeless" photography exhibition opening party at the Morrison Hotel Gallery on Sept. 16, 2010, in New York City.
Julian Lennon and his mother, Cynthia, arrive at the premiere of "The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil" at the Mirage Hotel & Casino on June 30, 2006, in Las Vegas.
Cynthia Lennon is shown in this Dec. 3, 1981, file photo. (Nick Arroyo / Associated Press)