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UNSPECIFIED - AUGUST 01: Photo of Leo Fender (Photo by Jon Sievert/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

On the 21st of March 1991 we lost a legend of music. A curator of technology that in turn led to an influx of artistry. Legendary players such as Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Buddy Guy, Ike Turner, John Frusciante, John Mayer and SO MANY MORE call the Fender Stratocaster their choice of axe.

Now, Clarence Leonidas Fender, later simply known as Leo, was born on August 10th, 1909, to Clarence Monte Fender and Harriet Elvira Wood, in Anaheim, California.

From an early age, Fender showed an interest in tinkering with electronics. When he was thirteen, his uncle, who ran an automotive-electric shop, sent him a box filled with discarded car radio parts, and a battery. The following year, Leo visited his uncle’s shop in Santa Maria, California, and was fascinated by a radio his uncle had built from spare parts and placed on display in the front of the shop. Leo later claimed that the loud music coming from the speaker of that radio made a lasting impression on him. Soon thereafter, Leo began repairing radios in a small shop in his parents’ home.

In the spring of 1928, Fender graduated from Fullerton Union High School, and entered Fullerton Junior College that fall, as an accounting major. While he was studying to be an accountant, he continued to teach himself electronics, and tinker with radios and other electrical items but never took any kind of electronics course.

From there, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation was born a few years later. Whilst I could continue typing, highlighting further that whilst he may have made them, he NEVER played them. He once said, “A great mechanic isn’t necessarily a great racer is he?” 🙂

Check these if you’ve time, they’ll show you how much this gentleman was loved and respected.

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Thanks for stopping by.

Jon

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