Who Is the Oldest Beatle?

Ahh, The Beatles! They were the heartthrobs of millions of teens in the 1960s but where are they now? More importantly, are any of them still alive? Many grandparents are fond of sharing their memories of the Beatles with the younger members of their families.

That started us wondering –  just how old are the remaining band members now?  

The Beatles
Ringo Starr and Sir Paul McCartney | Fred Duval/FilmMagic

The original Fab Four

The four young men from Liverpool took the world by storm in the early ’60s. With iconic songs like “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “A Hard Day’s Night,” the Beatles were a hit almost from the start. Their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964, was watched by 73 million viewers. That was three-quarters of all the adults in the country who watched TV!

Their every appearance in public triggered near riots by swooning fans. Beatlemania had arrived in America and the American pop/rock scene would never be the same again! 

What became of the Beatles?

After 8 years of outstanding success (and the stress that accompanies it), the group split up in 1970. Each member left to pursue his own career. Songwriter and all-around musician Paul McCartney and his wife Linda formed the group Wings.

Fellow songwriter and guitarist John Lennon sang with his wife Yoko Ono. Lead guitarist George Harrison and drummer Ringo Starr also began successful solo careers.  

Ringo Starr 

Born: July 7, 1940     Age: approaching 79 

The influential Beatles drummer is still performing in live concert tours. His latest tour will kick off in Windsor, Canada on August 1st before heading for the States. With 22 performances scheduled for August 1st through September 1st, this septuagenarian is certainly not showing his age!

Sir Ringo Starr (originally Richard Starkey) is an actor, artist, director, musician, and writer. Interestingly, he is both the oldest and youngest member of the Beatles. He was the oldest by birth date but the last to join the band – hence, the youngest Beatle!

Paul McCartney

Born:  June 18, 1942     Age: nearly 76

McCartney has kept very busy since his Beatles days. Sir James Paul McCartney (to give him his full name and title) is an animal rights activist, composer, painter, poet, singer, songwriter, and master of musical instruments. He plays the banjo, bass, cello, drums, several types of guitar, harpsichord, mandolin, and many other instruments.

He stills performs, as seen in the recent anti-bullying video “Who Cares” with Emma Stone, and the sold-out shows on his current Freshen Up tour

George Harrison

Born: February 24, 1943     Died: November 29, 2001 (Age at death: 58)

A 14-year-old Harrison reportedly auditioned for a reluctant Lennon on the top deck of a bus and was immediately invited to join the band. Harrison became the Beatles’ lead guitarist as well as a singer-songwriter with the band. He wrote and sang the lead on the No. 1 hit Something. The song appeared on The Beatle’s last studio album, Abbey Road, in 1969.  

After the band’s break-up in 1970, Harrison formed a studio band with Starr, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, and more to record all of the songs the Beatles had never gotten to. The result was an acclaimed three-disc album, All Things Must Pass

Shortly afterward, Harrison organized a series of benefit concerts known collectively as the Concert for Bangladesh. The ground-breaking concert series raised $15 million for UNICEF and inspired Live Aid and Farm Aid. The resulting album also won a Grammy Award. 

John Lennon

Born: October 9, 1940     Died: December 8, 1980 (Age at death: 40)

Beatles founder Lennon shared songwriting and lead singer duties with fellow band member McCartney. As one of the band’s lead singers, he had eight No. 1 hits to McCartney’s nine. Impressive work from both of them! 

After the band split, Lennon went on to release a dozen or so solo albums, many with the help of his wife Yoko Ono. Lennon was murdered by a crazed fan just two months shy of his 41st birthday.

Incidentally, if you’re wondering why Lennon and Harrison’s names don’t include the title of ‘Sir’, it’s because they both died before their former bandmates were knighted. According to the rules of the British Monarchy, only the living can receive a knighthood.

The legendary Beatles will never fade away 

Even though their time together as a band was relatively short, the Beatles’ lasting influence on music continues today. The new film Yesterday is ample evidence of that!