Musical instrument makerDied when: 81 years 223 days (979 months)
Star Sign: Leo
Clarence Leonidas Fender (August 10, 1909 – March 21, 1991) was an American inventor, who founded Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company, or "Fender" for short.
In January 1965, he sold the company to CBS and later founded two other musical instrument companies, Music Man and G&L Musical Instruments.
The guitars, basses, and amplifiers he designed from the 1940s on are still widely used: the Fender Telecaster (1950) was the first mass-produced solid-body electric guitar; the Fender Stratocaster (1954) is among the world's most iconic electric guitars; the Fender Precision Bass (1951) set the standard for electric basses, and the Fender Bassman amplifier, popular enough in its own right, became the basis for later amplifiers (notably by Marshall and Mesa Boogie) that dominated rock and roll music.
Leo Fender was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992: a unique achievement given that he never learned to play the instruments that he made a career of making.
Although he never played guitar himself, his instruments were played by many other Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan.