Leo Fender
Name: Leo Fender
Occupation: Entrepreneur
Gender: Male
Birth Day: August 10, 1909
Death Date: Mar 21, 1991 (age 81)
Age: Aged 81
Birth Place: Anaheim, United States
Zodiac Sign: Leo

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Leo Fender

Leo Fender was born on August 10, 1909 in Anaheim, United States (81 years old). Leo Fender is an Entrepreneur, zodiac sign: Leo. Nationality: United States. Approx. Net Worth: Undisclosed.


He was awarded a Technical Grammy Award in 2009 for contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field.

Net Worth 2020

Find out more about Leo Fender net worth here.

Does Leo Fender Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Leo Fender died on Mar 21, 1991 (age 81).


Height Weight Hair Colour Eye Colour Blood Type Tattoo(s)

Before Fame

He made money repairing radios as a teenager in California.


Biography Timeline


Clarence Leonidas Fender ("Leo") was born on August 10, 1909, to Clarence Monte Fender and Harriet Elvira Wood, owners of a successful orange grove located between Anaheim and Fullerton, California, United States.


In 1933, Fender met Esther Klosky, and they were married in 1934. About that time, he took a job as an accountant for the California Highway Department in San Luis Obispo. In a depression government change, his job was eliminated, and he then took a job in the accounting department of a tire company. After working there for six months, Fender lost his job along with the other accountants in the company.


In 1938, with a borrowed $600, Leo and Esther returned to Fullerton, and Leo started his own radio repair shop, "Fender Radio Service". Soon, musicians and band leaders began coming to him for public address systems, which he built, rented, and sold. They also visited his store for amplification for the amplified acoustic guitars that were beginning to show up on the southern California music scene – in big band and jazz music, and for the electric "Hawaiian" or "lap steel" guitars becoming popular in country music.


During World War II, Fender met Clayton Orr "Doc" Kauffman, an inventor and lap steel player who had worked for Rickenbacker, which had been building and selling lap steel guitars for a decade. While with Rickenbacker, Kauffman had invented the "Vibrola" tailpiece, a precursor to the later vibrato tailpiece. Fender convinced him that they should team up, and they started the "K&F Manufacturing Corporation" to design and build amplified Hawaiian guitars and amplifiers. In 1944, Fender and Kauffman patented a lap steel guitar with an electric pickup already patented by Fender. In 1945, they began selling the guitar in a kit with an amplifier designed by K&F. In 1946, Doc pulled out of K&F and Fender revised the company and renamed it "Fender Manufacturing", and then later "Fender Electric Instrument Co." at the end of 1947 and he handed over the reigns of his radio shop to Dale Hyatt


Fender recognized the potential for an electric guitar that was easy to hold, tune, and play, and would not feed back at dance hall volumes as the typical archtop would. In 1948, he finished the prototype of a thin solid-body electric; it was first released in 1950 as the Fender Esquire (with a solid body and one pickup), and renamed first Broadcaster and then Telecaster (with two pickups) the year after. The Telecaster, originally equipped with two single-coil pickups and widely used among country and western players, became one of the most popular electric guitars in history.


During this time, Fender also tackled the problems experienced by players of the acoustic double bass, who could no longer compete for volume with the other musicians. Besides, double basses were also large, bulky, and difficult to transport. With the Precision Bass (or "P-Bass"), released in 1951, Leo Fender addressed both issues: the Telecaster-based Precision Bass was small and portable, and its solid-body construction and four-magnet, single coil pickup let it play at higher volumes without feedback. Along with the Precision Bass (so named because its fretted neck allowed bassists to play with 'precision'), Fender introduced a bass amplifier, the Fender Bassman, a 25-watt amplifier with one 15-inch speaker (later updated to 45 watts and four 10-inch speakers).


Instead of updating the Telecaster, Fender decided, based on customer feedback, to leave the Telecaster as it was and design a new, upscale solid-body guitar to sell alongside the basic Telecaster. Western swing guitarist Bill Carson was one of the chief critics of the Telecaster, stating that the new design should have individually adjustable bridge saddles, four or five pickups, a vibrato unit that could be used in either direction and return to proper tuning, and a contoured body for enhanced comfort over the slab-body Telecaster's harsh edges. Fender, assisted by draftsman Freddie Tavares, began designing the Stratocaster in late 1953. It included a rounder, less "club-like" neck (at least for the first year of issue) and a double cutaway for easier reach to the upper registers.


1954 saw an update of the Precision Bass to coincide with the introduction of the Stratocaster. Incorporating some of the body contours of the Stratocaster, the update also included a two-section nickel-plated bridge and a white single-layer pickguard.


In June 1957, Fender announced a redesign of the Precision Bass. The remake included a larger headstock, a new pickguard design, a bridge with four steel saddles that could be individually adjusted and a new split single-coil pickup. This proved to be the final version of the instrument, which has changed little since then. In 1960, rosewood fingerboards, wider color selections and a three-ply pickguard became available for the P-Bass.


1960 saw the release of the Jazz Bass, a sleeker, updated bass with a slimmer neck, and offset waist body and two single coil pickups (as opposed to the Precision Bass and its split-humbucking pickup that had been introduced in 1957). Like its predecessor, the Jazz Bass (or simply "J-Bass") was an instant hit and has remained popular to this day, and early models are highly sought after by collectors.


In the 1950s, Leo Fender contracted a streptococcal sinus infection that impaired his health to the point where he decided to wind up his business affairs, selling the Fender company to CBS in 1965. As part of this deal, Leo Fender signed a non-compete clause and remained a consultant with Fender for a while. Shortly after selling the company, he changed doctors and was cured of his illness. In 1971, Forrest White and Tom Walker formed the Tri-Sonix company (often incorrectly referred to as "Tri-Sonic"), based in Santa Ana, California. Walker and White went to Leo to help finance their company and it evolved into 'Music Man', a name Leo Fender preferred over their name, Tri-Sonix. After considerable financing, in 1975, Fender became its president.


Another novelty to the Stratocaster design included the use of three pickups wired to offer three different voicings, two of which could be further tailored by the player by adjusting the two tone controls. This was the first electric guitar on the market to offer three pickups and a tremolo arm (which was actually used for vibrato, not tremolo), which became widely used by guitarists. The three pickups could be selected using the standard three-way switch to give the guitar different sound and options by using the "neck", "middle" or "bridge" pickups. Though Leo Fender preferred the sound of single pickups, guitarists discovered they could get the switch to stay between the detent positions and activate two pickups at once. The five-way switch was finally implemented as a factory option in late 1976, adding the detent combinations of neck+middle or bridge+middle that musicians had been using for years.


In 1979, Leo Fender and old friends George Fullerton and Dale Hyatt started a new company called G&L (George & Leo) 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. He remarried in 1980; his second wife Phyllis Fender became 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, next to his first wife Esther. His accomplishments for "contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field" were acknowledged with a Technical Grammy Award in 2009. Fender Avenue in Fullerton, California was named after him.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Leo Fender is 113 years, 3 months and 23 days old. Leo Fender will celebrate 114th birthday on a Thursday 10th of August 2023.

Find out about Leo Fender birthday activities in timeline view here.

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