OBIT

Les Paul Dies

Les Paul, whose electric guitar defined music in the 20th century, has died at 94. From a young age, Paul was tinkering with musical instruments, paving the way for his landmark invention. At the age of 10, he made a harmonica-holder from a coat hanger, and made his first amplified guitar from household materials shortly thereafter. A few years before being drafted in 1942—the exact date is unclear—Paul invented his first guitar. In an amazing example of his dedication to his craft, The New York Times notes that Paul was in a bad car accident that severely damaged his right arm. He had it set at an angle so that he could continue to rock on the ax, and by the early 50s, Paul was designing guitars for Gibson. Paul played with numerous music legends. Slash and Jimmy Page, among many others guitar gods, play Les Pauls. The New York Times obit closes with this teaser: "In recent years, he said he was working on another major invention but would not reveal what it was." The cause of death was complications related to pneumonia.