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Featured Memorial | Cynthia Lennon

Cynthia Lennon Obituary

9/10/1939 - 4/1/2015| Visit Guest Book
Cynthia Lennon (Dave M. Benett / Getty Images)
Cynthia Lennon (Dave M. Benett / Getty Images)
Cynthia Lennon, the former wife of John Lennon and mother of Julian Lennon, died 1 April 2015 at her home in Majorca, Spain, of cancer. She was 75.

Born in Blackpool, Lancashire, in 1939, Cynthia Powell enjoyed art from an early age, winning a Liverpool art competition when she was just 11. As a teenager she attended Liverpool's Junior Art School and then the Liverpool College of Art, where she met fellow student John Lennon. The two married in August 1962 after Cynthia became pregnant.

By early 1963, the Beatles were already big in Britain, and when Cynthia gave birth to their son, Julian, in April, John was away on tour. Within a year the insanity of Beatle mania had invaded America, and the Fab Four were in high demand around the world, mobbed wherever they went. The demands of touring, sudden celebrity and John's increasing drug use presumably took their toll. But they stayed together until 1968 when John left Cynthia for a Japanese artist. Two years later the Beatles disbanded, with many fans at the time blaming John's break with Cynthia and new wife Yoko Ono for the split.

Soon after her divorce from Lennon, Cynthia began dating Roberto Bassanini, whom she married in 1970 and divorced in 1973. She then moved to Wales where she opened a restaurant and enrolled Julian in school. After marrying Lancashire engineer John Twist in 1976, in 1978 she published a memoir, A Twist of Lennon, about her time with her famous first husband. John Lennon reportedly tried to stop publication of the book, which would gain renewed interest after his death in 1980.

Lennon separated from Twist in 1981 (they would divorce in 1983) and began a 17-year relationship with Liverpudlian chauffeur Jim Christie, who would become her partner as well as business manager. A series of failed ventures followed, with Lennon often auctioning off mementos from her time with John in order to support herself.

She married Barbadian night club owner Noel Charles in 2002, and the two remained together until his death in 2013. In 2005 she published a new biography of her first husband, titled John, and throughout the next decade made appearances at Beatles- and John Lennon-related events. In October 2010, she and Julian unveiled the John Lennon Peace Monument in Liverpool on what would have been the musician's 70th birthday.

Though she had many relationships and careers after she and John divorced, her identity seemed always to be closely linked to that of her first husband. As The Daily Telegraph said in a 1999 profile, "In essence, she is a suburban woman who – almost in spite of herself – got caught up with one of the most extraordinary men of modern times. More than 30 years since her marriage to John Lennon ended, she is as entangled as ever."
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