On the anniversary of John Lennon's death (Dec. 8, 1980), we recount some fascinating facts about the legendary Beatle.

1. John Winston Lennon was born in Liverpool on October 9, 1940 and was named after both his grandfather (John) and Winston Churchill.

2. Lennon's Aunt Mimi, who largely raised him, claims that John was born during a Nazi blitz. Fans and historians debate this claim and, while historical documents and news reports show that the Nazi's did execute bombing raids on Liverpool during the week Lennon was born, none contain specific records of bombings on October 9, 1940.

3. As a child, John served as a choirboy at his local church and was in the Boy Scouts.

4. In school, John created a book of his sketches and musings that he called The Daily Howl. Former classmate Bill Turner recalls, "It was an exercise book filled with his stories, poems, drawings and cartoons…One of his favourite cartoons was a bus stop scene. I remember he wrote under the sign, which said 'Bus Stop'—'Why?' And he had a flying pancake at the top of the cartoon and below it there was a blind man wearing glasses leading along a blind dog—also wearing glasses. At one time The Daily Howl was confiscated by one of the teachers and it went all round the staff before he got it back at the end of term."

5. Not surprisingly, John was considered a poor student.

6. How poor a student was he? He was kicked out of school at age five.

7. Many believe John was legally blind—a rumour that has been largely disproven. He was, however, dyslexic.

8. John received his first instrument as a child: a harmonica. It was a gift from his uncle, George.

9. Years later, during the early Beatles days, John stole a harmonica from a store in Arnhem, a city in the Netherlands.

10. It's believed that a group of Beatles fans eventually travelled to the store and officially "paid" for John's harmonica.

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