Cynthia Lennon, 75, the former wife of Beatle John Lennon, died on Wednesday at her home in Mallorca, Spain, a representative for her son confirmed.
She died after a "short but brave battle with cancer" and her son, Julian Lennon, was at her bedside, according to a statement from the family.
Ms. Lennon was married to the Beatles legend from 1962 until 1968. John Lennon was shot to death in 1980 at the age of 40.
Her impact on the Beatles was always covert, if not intentionally marginalized. When she became pregnant with Julian, thus threatening the band's young-and-single image, manager Brian Epstein helped arrange their wedding on the condition that it be kept quiet even though the marriage was an open secret in the British music press.
In her book A Twist of Lennon, Ms. Lennon described her life with John as an "undercover existence," and according to her memoirs, she spent her wedding night without him while the Beatles played a concert in Chester.
However, she does show up as a presence in several Beatles songs. Both Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds and Good Night were written about the young Julian while John and Cynthia were married. Paul McCartney's Hey Jude was written as a comforting ballad for Julian during his parents' separation.
Ms. Lennon was born in Blackpool, England, and was the youngest of three children of Charles and Lillian Powell. She attended the Liverpool College of Art, where she met John Lennon in 1957.
After the couple divorced in 1968, John Lennon married Yoko Ono and had another son, Sean. After her divorce, Ms. Lennon said her income was "never stable," according to People. In her book, John, she talked about being mistreated by her ex-husband during their marriage.
In 1991, Ms. Lennon auctioned off some of her late ex-husband's writing, including memorabilia he had collected.
The Los Angeles Times interviewed Ms. Lennon in 1988, when she described how she and John Lennon were drawn to each other after suffering the loss of parents at a young age. Throughout her six-year marriage she was an "eternal optimist," according to the 1988 interview.