John Lennon's First Wife, Cynthia, Dies

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LONDON (AP) — Cynthia Lennon, the first wife of former Beatles guitarist John Lennon, has died of cancer at her home in Spain. She was 75.

The news was announced Wednesday on the website and Twitter account of her son, Julian Lennon, and was confirmed by his representative.

Cynthia Lennon died at her home in Mallorca “following a short but brave battle with cancer,” a statement from the representative said. It said Julian Lennon was at his mother’s bedside throughout.

The family is “thankful for your prayers. Please respect their privacy at this difficult time.”

Julian Lennon also posted a tribute video to his late mother with a song he had written in her honor. The lyrics thanked her for giving up her life for him.

Cynthia and John Lennon met at art school in Liverpool and married shortly before the Beatles shot to fame. Early on, the fact that Lennon was married was concealed to protect his image as a teen idol.

They divorced in 1968 after John Lennon started his relationship with Japanese artist Yoko Ono.

Author Hunter Davies, who wrote the only authorized Beatles biography in 1968, described Cynthia as a “lovely woman” who was ill-treated by her famous husband. He said that unlike John, she was “quiet and reserved and calm” and “not a hippy at all.”

He said their friends at art school never thought the relationship would last because they were so different.

In her book, Cynthia described being mistreated by John. Julian was their only child together.