Much of America first heard about the death of John Lennon via Howard Cosell on Monday Night Football. This is how information spread in 1980. You heard about the death of a cultural icon on the television and then maybe you talked about it with other people in the room if there were other people in the room. It was pretty late for a phone call. Then you waited to read about it in the paper the next day.
I didn’t hear about this until the next morning. Pete Taran was standing at the front door telling all the kids as they walked into school. “John Lennon died, he was murdered.” He got the “first” on spreading this info. I knew who John Lennon was but I can’t say it had much of an impact on me.