Newspaper article International New York Times

Cynthia Lennon, Beatles Wife Who Regretted Union, Dies at 75

Newspaper article International New York Times

Cynthia Lennon, Beatles Wife Who Regretted Union, Dies at 75

Article excerpt

The first wife of the Beatles' John Lennon, she chronicled their troubled marriage in two memoirs.

CORRECTION APPENDED

Cynthia Lennon, the first wife of the Beatles' John Lennon, who chronicled their troubled marriage in two memoirs, has died at her home in Mallorca, Spain.

Ms. Lennon, who died Wednesday, was 75. The cause was cancer, according to a memorial on the website of her son, Julian.

Ms. Lennon, then Cynthia Powell, met Lennon when he was a student at the Liverpool College of Art in the late 1950s. She was a studious, proper young lady, in stark contrast to him.

"He was a total rebel, and everybody was amazed by him," she said in a 2005 interview on the ABC program "Good Morning America."

She ended her engagement to another man, he broke up with his girlfriend, and they began dating. It was during this period, Ms. Lennon said, that she first dealt with his jealousy and anger. She said that he smacked her in the face for dancing with another man, after which she broke up with him for several months.

She became pregnant in 1962 and married Lennon on Aug. 23, just weeks before the Beatles recorded their first single, "Love Me Do." She was ill prepared for the fame that engulfed John and his bandmates.

"I didn't marry a Beatle," she told the British newspaper The Independent in 1999. "I married a broke student who played the guitar and ponced all my grant money off me."

Their son was born in April 1963, as Beatlemania was spreading across England. Brian Epstein, the Beatles' manager, hid the existence of Lennon's wife and son to make him seem available to the legions of young women obsessed with him. Many fans were distraught when the Beatles appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1964 and the words "Sorry, girls, he's married" appeared with his image on the screen.

As the Beatles' fame grew, Lennon became more distant, with little time for his wife and their son. Ms. Lennon stayed home with Julian while John toured and traveled. …

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