Published Aug 13, 2009Les Paul, the legendary guitarist and inventor of one of the world's most famous electric guitars, has died. He was 94.
Paul died of complications from pneumonia today (August 13) at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, NY, his family has announced. At the age of 94, he was still an active player, performing weekly at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City.
Born in Wisconsin in 1915, Paul rose to become one of music's major and most influential players, beginning as a jazz guitarist with the likes of Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby. However, he's best known for his Gibson Les Paul, the solid-body electric guitar he invented with designer Ted McCarty in 1952. It went on to become the instrument of choice for such musicians as Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Slash, U2's the Edge and countless others.
Among other various accomplishments, Paul also was a recording pioneer and helped developed such techniques as multi-tracking and echo delay, as well as an early synthesizer.
Gibson president Dave Berryman said: "As the father of the electric guitar, he was not only one of the world's greatest innovators but a legend who created, inspired and contributed to the success of musicians around the world."