Cynthia Lennon Only Had ‘1 Clear Thought’ After Learning About John Lennon’s Death

Cynthia Lennon was in a “stunned state” after learning about her ex-husband John Lennon’s murder. Despite the shock, she had one clear thought regarding her son, Julian Lennon, who was 17 years old at the time. Here’s what we learned from Cynthia Lennon’s 2005 memoir John.

Who was John Lennon’s first wife, Cynthia Lennon?

Julian Lennon and Cynthia Lennon, the son and first wife of John Lennon, attend the unveiling of the John Lennon monument
Julian Lennon and Cynthia Lennon, the son and first wife of John Lennon, attend the unveiling of the John Lennon monument | David Munn/WireImage via Getty Images

Lennon is known for his work with the Beatles, performing on songs like “Here Comes the Sun,” “Let It Be,” and “Twist and Shout.” 

At the same time, this songwriter was in a relationship with his college sweetheart, Cynthia Lennon. The two were married in 1962. They stayed together until 1968, when they officially divorced after Lennon met the artist Yoko Ono.

With his second wife, Lennon recorded songs like “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).” In 1980, John Lennon was shot in Manhattan, causing a frenzy among Beatles fans. It was one member of the Beatles who informed Lennon’s ex-wife, Cynthia, of the murder.

Cynthia Lennon was in a ‘stunned state’ after learning about John Lennon’s death

Cynthia Lennon learned more about her ex-husband’s death via a phone call from the Beatles’ drummer Ringo Starr. She described the memory in the 2005 memoir John, writing that “​​the shock engulfed [her] like a wave.”

“In my stunned state, I only had one clear thought,” Cynthia Lennon wrote in the same autobiography. “My son — our son — was at home in bed: I had to get back so that I could tell him about his father’s death. He was seventeen and history was repeating itself in a hideous way; both John and I had lost a parent at that age.”

After her son expressed interest in being with his father, the two called Yoko Ono and arranged for Julian Lennon to fly to New York. Cynthia Lennon did not travel with her son, although she later made a statement regarding John Lennon’s murder.

“He’s made his mistakes, on the front pages of newspapers, all over the world,” Cynthia Lennon said to 60 Minutes, according to ABC News. “But he bared his soul for everybody else to see.”


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John and Cynthia Lennon had one son together — Julian Lennon

After getting married, John and Cynthia Lennon had a child together, their son Julian. He grew up to be a musician, although his relationship with his father was few and far between, according to interviews from the artist. 

After John Lennon married Yoko Ono, the two had a child together, Sean Taro Ono Lennon, who also became a songwriter. Lennon remained married to Ono until his death in 1980. 

“There is no funeral for John,” Ono said in a statement, according to Smooth Radio. “John loved and prayed for the human race. Please do the same for him. Love, Yoko and Sean.”