Clarence Leonidas "Leo" Fender (August 10, 1909 – March 21, 1991) was an American inventor and pioneer of the electric guitar and amplifier that bear his name. He founded the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company ("Fender") in 1946 and in January 1965, he sold his company to CBS. This is what is meant when people refer to a Fender guitar being pre-CBS (prior to 1965) which are the most collectible of all Fender electric guitars.
The guitars, bass guitars, and amplifiers he designed from the 1940s on are still the standard with musicians today in terms of functionality and elegant design. 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 the new era of the electric bass guitar, 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.
Believe it or not, Leo Fender was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 - a unique achievement considering that he never learned to play the instruments which he made a career of building. Yep that's right! Leo couldn't play guitar! But he sure made it great for the rest of us!
(Hover over image for title and description)
Leo Fender Quotes: