DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Leo Fender (aged 81)
American inventor and founder of the Fender company
Clarence Leonidas “Leo” 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.
DEATH: In 1979, Fender’s wife Esther died of cancer. He remarried in 1980; Phyllis Fender is an Honorary Chairman of G&L. Despite suffering several minor strokes, Fender continued to produce guitars and basses. On March 21, 1991, he died, having long suffered from Parkinson’s disease. He was buried at Fairhaven Memorial Park in Santa Ana, California. His accomplishments for “contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field” were acknowledged with a Technical Grammy Award in 2009.