You know his name.
But, you may not know his story.
Clarence Leonidas "Leo" Fender was born on August 10, 1909. There's a decent chance that you have never heard of him. But, as soon as you heard his last name, you would think, "That Fender?"
He is "That Fender."
Leo Fender started a radio repair shop in 1938. He worked on PA systems and amplification for musicians and bands. That led him to designing amplifiers and instruments.
By the late 1940's, musicians were starting to play arch-top guitars with pickups installed for amplification. But, they needed something better.
Solid body electric guitars started to surface.
In 1950, Fender released his first solid body electric guitar. It was called the Fender Esquire. The Esquire became the Broadcaster and finally it was called the Telecaster. A few years later, Fender designed the Stratocaster.
The success of those early models led another company, Gibson, to finally let an inventor named Les Paul create his own solid body electric guitar.
The Fender Telecaster and Fender Stratocaster are two of the most famous electric guitars in the world. Still.
Famous Fender players include Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen, Kurt Cobain, Pete Townshend, Jeff Beck, and many more.
In the 1950's and 1960's, Fender battled an illness that eventually led him to get out of the business. He sold his company to CBS 1965.
Eventually, Fender got healthy. He joined a company called Music Man and began to make instruments again. Music Man was probably best known for their Stingray basses.
Fender died on March 21, 1991.