John Winston Ono Lennon (born John Winston Lennon; 9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English singer, songwriter, musician and peace activist who achieved worldwide fame as founder, co-songwriter, co-lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the Beatles. Lennon's work was characterised by the rebellious nature and acerbic wit of his music, writing and drawings, on film, and in interviews. His songwriting partnership with Paul McCartney remains the most successful in history.Born in Liverpool, Lennon became involved in the skiffle craze as a teenager. In 1956, he formed the Quarrymen, which evolved into the Beatles in 1960. Sometimes called "the smart Beatle", he was initially the group's de facto leader, a role gradually ceded to McCartney. Through his songwriting in the Beatles, Lennon embraced a myriad of musical influences, initially writing and co-writing rock and pop-oriented hit songs in the band's early years, then later incorporating experimental elements into his compositions in the latter half of the Beatles' career as his songs became known for their increasing innovation. Lennon soon expanded his work into other media by participating in numerous films, including How I Won the War, and authoring In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works, both collections of nonsense writings and line drawings. Starting with "All You Need Is Love", his songs were adopted as anthems by the anti-war movement and the larger counterculture of the 1960s. In 1969, he started the Plastic Ono Band with his second wife, the multimedia artist Yoko Ono, held the two-week-long anti-war demonstration Bed-ins for Peace, and left the Beatles to embark on a solo career.