John Lennon in Selfridges department store, Oxford Street, London in 1971 to promote the publication of the 2nd edition of Yoko Ono's book Grapefruit
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12 Enduring Quotes From John Lennon

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John Lennon in Selfridges department store, Oxford Street, London in 1971 to promote the publication of the 2nd edition of Yoko Ono's book Grapefruit
Gijsbert Hanekroot / Contributor / Redferns / Getty Images CC

In His Own Words

Forty years ago, ex-Beatle John Lennon was gunned down at age 40 outside his New York apartment. Many people who were alive then can still recall exactly where they were when they heard the news Lennon had been killed, and in the four decades since, many have certainly wished they could hear what he would have said about music, love, wars, and milestone historic events. In addition to his music, what the world does have are his enduring words of wisdom from his songs, writings, and interviews.

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John Lennon And Yoko Ono
Susan Wood/Getty Images / Contributor / Hulton Archive / Getty Images CC
 John Lennon in Selfridges department store, Oxford Street, London in 1971 to promote the publication of the 2nd edition of Yoko Ono's book Grapefruit
Gijsbert Hanekroot / Contributor / Redferns / Getty Images CC

On Life

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

27th November 1966: British rock musician and member of The Beatles, John Lennon (1940 - 1980), dressed as a Public Lavatory Commissionaire during the filming of the 'Not Only...But Also' Christmas Special, starring Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. He is outs
Ron Case / Stringer / Hulton Archive / Getty Images CC

On Society

"Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it." 

John Lennon (1940 - 1980) of the Beatles plays the guitar in a hotel room in Paris,
Harry Benson / Stringer / Hulton Archive / Getty Images CC

On Music

"Music is everybody's possession. It's only publishers who think that people own it."    

John Lennon being interviewed on the street.; circa 1970; New York. (Photo by Art Zelin/Getty Images)
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Singer, musician and songwriter John Lennon (1940 - 1980), a former member of British pop group The Beatles, attends the Grammy Awards at the Uris Theater in New York City, 1st March 1975. He is wearing an 'Elvis' brooch and a corsage.
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John Lennon Records "Instant Karma!"
Icon and Image / Contributor / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images CC

On Taking Action

"Produce your own dream. If you want to save Peru, go save Peru. It's quite possible to do anything, but not to put it on the leaders and the parking meters. Don't expect Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan or John Lennon or Yoko Ono or Bob Dylan or Jesus Christ to come and do it for you. You have to do it yourself."

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Beatle John Lennon (1940 � 1980) and his wife of a week Yoko Ono in their bed in the Presidential Suite of the Hilton Hotel, Amsterdam, 25th March 1969. The couple are staging a 'bed-in for peace' and intend to stay in bed for seven days 'as a protest aga
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On Violence

"If you want peace, you won't get it with violence."

Former Beatle John Lennon poses for a photo with his wife Yoko Ono and son Sean Lennon in 1977 in New York City, New York.
Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images CC

On Honesty

"Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it’ll always get you the right ones."

Japanese-born artist and musician Yoko Ono and British musican and artist John Lennon (1940 - 1980), December 1968.
Susan Wood / Getty Images / Contributor / Hulton Archive / Getty Images CC

On Fear and Love

"There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life."

 John Lennon and Yoko Ono in an undated photo taken in New York, NY in the 1970's.
Brenda Chase / Stringer / Hulton Archive / Getty Images CC
John Lennon Wearing Yellow Glasses
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On World Peace

"Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one."

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