John Lennon’s first wife, Cynthia Powell Lennon, died yesterday (April 1st). Son Julian Lennon posted a message announcing the news on an official tribute site, http://www.cynthialennon.memorial/. The note read: “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.”
Cynthia Lennon met John Lennon in 1958 while they were college students at the Liverpool Institute of Art with Stuart Sutcliffe. She became pregnant by Lennon in the summer of 1962 and the couple married that August 23rd, with their only child, Julian, being born the following April. Although Cynthia missed out on most of “Beatlemania” having to stay home with an infant, she was part of the Beatles’ inner-circle and had a prime view of the group up close — watching John Lennon and Paul McCartney compose much of the Beatles’ catalogue, and accompanying them on numerous trips — including their first trip to America in 1964, their 1965 Austrian film shoot for Help!, their legendary and infamous trips to Wales and Greece in 1967, and to study with the Maharishi Mahaesh Yogi India in 1968 just before the collapse of her marriage.
John Lennon left her for Yoko Ono in the spring of 1968, and Cynthia and Julian — although not destitute — went from living the life of a multimillion-dollar family to a solidly middle class existence. She remarried twice during the ’70s, with both unions ending in divorce. She ultimately found happiness in her relationship with Noel Charles. The couple, who had known each other for decades, were married from 2002 until Charles’ death in 2013.
THE BEATLES FAMILY PAYS TRIBUTE TO CYNTHIA LENNON
Paul McCartney, who knew Cynthia from the time John Lennon met her in 1958, said in a statement: “The news of Cynthia’s passing is very sad. She was a lovely lady who I’ve known since our early days together in Liverpool. She was a good mother to Julian and will be missed by us all, but I will always have great memories of our times together.”
Ringo Starr tweeted: “Peace and love to Julian Lennon God bless Cynthia love Ringo and Barbara xx”
Yoko Ono, the woman many believed to be Cynthia’s nemesis stated: “I’m very saddened by Cynthia’s death. She was a great person and a wonderful mother to Julian. She had such a strong zest for life and I felt proud how we two women stood firm in the Beatles family. Please join me in sending love and support to Julian at this very sad time. love, yoko”
Sean Lennon tweeted: “Cynthia Lennon (1939-2015) We’ll miss you! Our thoughts and our love and our prayers go to Julian at this difficult time.”
Olivia and Dhani Harrison posted: “Sending our love and deepest sympathies to dear Julian Lennon. May God bless Cynthia always. Love Dhani & Olivia.”
May Pang — John Lennon’s girlfriend during his 14-month separation from Yoko in the mid-’70s — posted on Twitter: “I am so devastated this morning with the loss of my good friend.”
Cynthia Lennon told us that, although she and John hardly split on the best of terms, there were many happy moments with him early on that she cherishes: “Obviously, we had really lovely times together. We had great holidays together, which was totally away from the media and everything else. We went on this holiday to Tahiti, which was absolutely superb, we actually relaxed and nobody knew about us — with Pattie and George (Harrison). There were just occasions, there were definitely occasions of great happiness and joy.”