Les Paul, acclaimed guitar player, entertainer and inventor, passed away yesterday from complications of severe pneumonia at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York, surrounded by family and loved ones. He was 94.
One of the foremost influences on 20th century sound and responsible for the world's most famous guitar, the Les Paul model, Les Paul's prestigious career in music and invention spans from the 1930s to the present. Though he's indisputably one of America's most popular, influential, and accomplished electric guitarists, Les Paul is best known as an early innovator in the development of the solid body guitar. His groundbreaking design would become the template for Gibson's best-selling electric, the Les Paul model, introduced in 1952. Today, countless musical legends still consider Paul's iconic guitar unmatched in sound and prowess. Among Paul's most enduring contributions are those in the technological realm, including ingenious developments in multi-track recording, guitar effects, and the mechanics of sound in general.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Les Paul Foundation, 236 West 30th Street, 7th Floor, New York, New York 10001.