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John Lennon's first wife Cynthia dies at 75 from cancer

Cynthia Lennon, first wife of late Beatle John Lennon, has died, her family said on Wednesday. She was 75 years old.

music Updated: Apr 02, 2015 14:32 IST
Cynthia Lennon,Cynthia Lennon dead,John Lennon

Cynthia Lennon, the first wife of Beatle John Lennon, has died of cancer in her home in Spain at the age of 75.

A statement posted on her son Julian Lennon's website on Thursday said her: "Cynthia Lennon passed away today at her home in Mallorca, Spain, following a short but brave battle with cancer. Her son Julian Lennon was at her bedside throughout. The family are thankful for your prayers. Please respect their privacy at this difficult time."

Born Cynthia Lillian Powell in Blackpool on September 10, 1939, she met John Lennon at the Liverpool College of Art in 1957. Lennon reportedly tapped her on the back in class and said: "Hi, I'm John."

They married in August 1962 but the wedding was a closely guarded secret even after Julian's birth in April 1963 because The Beatles' management did not want to alienate the group's female fan following.

The marriage ended in 1968 because of the strain of Lennon's career, his volatile and impulsive nature and his affair with Yoko Ono. Cynthia learnt of the affair just before The Beatles flew to India in February 1968 to spend time at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi when she found letters written by Yoko Ono to Lennon.

Cynthia remarried three times after divorcing the Beatle and wrote about her relationship with Lennon in two volumes of memoirs -- A Twist of Lennon (1978) and John (2005).

She once said that Lennon never wrote a song for her because it was 'too sloppy when you were young to dedicate anything to anybody'. But she also acknowledged while publicising her second volume of memoirs in 2005 that she 'couldn't resist being around' Lennon.

"You couldn't resist watching what he was up to…I mean, he was a total rebel. Everybody was amazed by him," Cynthia said on a TV show.

"I have read so many books and seen so many films, and it's like we don't really exist. We are like walk-on parts in his life. We did spend 10 years together," she said.

During another interview, Cynthia said she'd had 'the most amazing life, a wonderful life'. She added: "I've got the best son anyone could possibly wish for in the world… Sounds very gushing, but I'm really happy. And all the experience has not spoiled anything for me, I promise you. I still open my eyes in the morning and feel a beautiful, sunny day in Spain and think how lucky I am."

Her son Julian, who had a few hits in the 1980s, posted a photo of Cynthia inside a heart with the message 'In Loving Memory' on his website. Julian also posted a special musical tribute to his mother on Youtube.

First Published: Apr 02, 2015 10:43 IST