Thirty years ago today, John Lennon was shot and killed outside his home at the Dakota on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
Three decades ago, ABC's Chris Connelly was watching TV at home when the news of Lennon's death broke.
"I was watching Monday Night Football, and Eyewitness News, the local news, broke in to say that a man identified as John Lennon had been shot outside the Dakota," Connelly said. "And then just as the game was ending, Howard Cosell announced to the world on Monday Night Football that John Lennon was dead."
At the time, Connelly was just beginning his journalism career, working as a receptionist at Rolling Stone magazine. The magazine's editors, led by Jann Wenner, immediately went to work to commemorate Lennon's life.
"The mood was complete devestation and a desire to do the greatest tribute to his life and work imaginable," Connelly said. "My job was to buzz people in as they came in in the morning, and the looks on their faces were unforgettable. It was not just that he was a Beatle, it was not just that he had done a decade's worth of amazing solo work. ... It was also that he was a New Yorker, and that during a time when being a citizen of New York City wasn't always seen as the greatest thing in the world. ... He was proud to be here. For all those reasons, to lose him was completely devestating for everyone."
In today's Conversation, Connelly spoke with ABC's Sharyn Alfonsi about the ways that Lennon's life continues to affect our culture.
"It's like the old thing is St. Paul's Church in London -- if you seek his monument, look around," said Connelly. "Just look around at what we value and the tone in communication, from the Internet to music to TV. That's John Lennon's legacy."
And if you want to listen to some of Lennon's work today, Connelly offered some recommendations.
For Lennon's New Fans: She Said, She Said Dr. Robert Rain
For longtime Beatles' fans looking for new material:
Mother by the Plastic Ono Band Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him I Saw Her Standing There, Live Recording with Elton John
We hope you'll watch today's Conversation for more.