LEO FENDER d1991. American inventor who founded the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company or "Fender" for short. The Fender Radio Service started in 1938 with a borrowed $600USD. 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, bass guitars and amplifiers he designed from the 1940s are still relevant today. 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 bass guitars 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. In 1979, Leo Fender and old friends George Fullerton and Dale Hyatt started a new company called G&L Musical Products.G&L guitar designs tended to lean heavily upon the looks of Fender's original guitars such as the Stratocaster and Telecaster, but incorporated innovations such as enhanced tremolo systems and electronics. In 1979, Fender's wife Esther died of cancer. Despite suffering several minor strokes, he continued to produce guitars and basses. He died on March 21st 1991 aged 81 having long suffered from Parkinsons disease. 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 which he made a career of building.
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