John Winston Lennon (October 9, 1940 - December 8, 1980) was a founding member, along with fellow songwriting partner, Paul McCartney, of one of the greatest and most influential rock bands in history, The Beatles. As teenagers, Lennon and McCartney formed The Beatles in 1957, adding George Harrison in 1958 with Ringo Starr replacing Pete Best in 1962. Over the next eight years, Lennon and The Beatles became a craze, worldwide known as "Beatlemania" and created some of the greatest songs and compilations of music rock and roll had ever seen. With #1 hits like, "Love Me Do", "Please Please Me", "I Want to Hold Your Hand", "She Loves You", "A Hard Day's Night", "Can't Buy Me Love", "All You Need is Love", "Strawberry Fields Forever", as well as the extraordinary "A Day in the Life", Lennon proclaimed The Beatles were "more popular than Jesus." Certainly a polarizing statement, but given the emergence of rock and roll and The Beatles, specifically, among teens, it was probably true at the time. In 1970, after a few tumultuous years with members showing differing individual paths, The Beatles split up and the members began to pursue solo careers.
John, with second wife Yoko Ono, released his first critically acclaimed solo album John Lennon/Plastic One Band (1970) followed by his most notable creation, Imagine, in 1971. Resentment among Beatles members lingered and John and Paul seem to spar with one another in the recording studios, each releasing veiled attacks in song of the other founder. In 1971, John and Yoko moved to New York City. With the Vietnam War raging in Southeast Asia, John became an activist for peace and the title track from "Imagine" served as an anthem for the anti-war movement and the hippie generation. The anti-war effort fueled Lennon's angst for the conflict in Vietnam and inequality and he became more and more outspoken causing the Nixon Administration to threaten deportation of the beloved rocker. Through it all, John survived and continued recording albums such as Some Time in New York City, Mind Games, Walls and Bridges, Rock n' Roll and Double Fantasy, for which he won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Mark David Chapman murdered John Lennon on December 8, 1980 outside The Dakota, the Central Park West apartment he shared with his wife Yoko Ono. Tens of thousands of followers make a pilgrimage to the "Strawberry Fields Forever" memorial, across from The Dakota in Central Park, each year to honor Lennon's death.
Autographs from The Beatles, specifically of all four members on one item, are highly sought after and tend to command extremely high returns depending upon condition. Of the four Beatles, however, John Lennon's is the most in demand, as he was murdered at the age of 40. The Beatles are one of the greatest bands in the history of rock n' roll and artifacts from their illustrious career are in high demand can command tens of thousands of dollars.