John Lennon fans gathered in Central Park's Strawberry Fields in New York on 8 December to commemorate 35 years since the death of The Beatles co-founder. Born in Liverpool in 1940, Lennon formed his first band, The Quarrymen, in 1957, which later went on to become The Beatles with the addition of Paul McCartney and George Harrison.

The Beatles, which disbanded in 1970, are estimated to have sold more than a billion records worldwide. Following his break-up with the band, Lennon continued on with a successful solo career. Imagine, probably his most popular solo album, was released in 1971. Its title track, a utopian song by the same name, has been adopted by peace activists around the world as an unofficial anthem.

Lennon was married twice and had a son with each wife. He and Yoko Ono, his second wife, held "bed-ins" during their honeymoon in 1969, allowing the world press into their hotel room as a show of protest against the Vietnam War.

On 8 December 1980, Lennon was shot by disturbed fan Mark David Chapman in front of his New York apartment building, where he lived with Ono and their son Sean. Chapman is serving a sentence of 20 years to life at Attica prison near Rochester, New York.