True, he wasn't a world leader. But his music and message were moving-- and still resonate. Just ask the crowds that honor his memory every December 8th-- steps from his home in New York.
Lennon's career arc was fascinating. To go from "She Loves You," to "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" in less than four years shows his impressive range.
And it's clear that he believed what he sang about.
In a chilling interview with Rolling Stone magazine, given just three days before he died, and only just released, Lennon said: "Give peace a chance. Don't shoot people for peace. All we need is love. I believe it."
30 years later, John Lennon's murder is no less shocking or senseless.
But many still find comfort in his recordings.
For them, Strawberry Fields really IS forever.
That's a page from my notebook.
I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.