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December 8, 1980John Lennon, an English musician and peace activist, is murdered by Mark David Chapman, a mentally unstable fan, in front of The Dakota apartment building in New York City.
At around 10:50 pm, as Lennon and Ono returned to their New York apartment in The Dakota, Mark David Chapman shot Lennon in the back four times at the entrance to the building. Lennon was taken to the emergency room of nearby Roosevelt Hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival at 11:07 pm. Earlier that evening, Lennon had autographed a copy of Double Fantasy for Chapman. Ono issued a statement the next day, saying "There is no funeral for John," ending it with the words, "John loved and prayed for the human race. Please pray the same for him." His body was cremated at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. Ono scattered his ashes in New York's Central Park, where the Strawberry Fields memorial was later created. Chapman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years to life; as of 2011, he remains in prison, having been denied parole six times.
April 14, 1980
Gianni Rodari was an Italian writer and journalist, most famous for his books for children. He won the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1970 and is considered by many to be Italy's most important twentieth-century children's author. His books have been translated into many languages, though few have been published in English.
April 29, 1980
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was an English film director and producer. He pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. After a successful career in British cinema in both silent films and early talkies, Hitchcock moved to Hollywood. On 19 April 1955, he became an American citizen while remaining a British subject.
May 4, 1980
Marshal Josip Broz Tito was a Yugoslav revolutionary and statesman, serving in various roles from 1945 until his death in 1980. While his presidency has been criticized as authoritarian, due to his successful economic and diplomatic policies, Tito was seen by most as a benevolent dictator, and was a popular public figure both in Yugoslavia and abroad.
August 20, 1980
Joseph Ira Dassin more commonly known as Joe Dassin, was an American singer-songwriter best known for his French songs of the 1960s and 1970s.
November 7, 1980
Terrence Steven "Steve" McQueen was an American movie actor. He was nicknamed "The King of Cool." His "anti-hero" persona, which he developed at the height of the Vietnam counterculture, made him one of the top box-office draws of the 1960s and 1970s.
December 8, 1980
John Winston Lennon was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Along with fellow Beatle Paul McCartney, he formed one of the most successful songwriting partnerships of the 20th century.