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December 8, 2015

08 Dec 1980: John Lennon killed

On this day in 1980, former Beatle John Lennon was killed by Mark David Chapman, a 25-year-old with psychological problems.

Lennon’s last photo; Chapman is asking for an autograph. (Phil Goresh)

Some more details on John’s death:

  • Lennon was returning from Record Plant Studio; he and his wife, Yoko Ono, had been recording a song called “Walking on Thin Ice”
  • the famous Annie Liebovitz photo of a naked John alongside Yoko was taken that same day; it would be the next Rolling Stone cover
  • the murder took place outside The Dakota, the couple’s apartment building on the Upper West Side
  • Chapman asked Lennon to sign his copy of his latest album, Double Fantasy
  • after the shooting, Chapman calmly read The Catcher in the Rye until his arrest
  • Howard Cosell broke into a broadcast of Monday Night Football to tearfully announce Lennon’s death
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