Leo Fender

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Leo Fender

(10th August 1909 – 21st March 1991)

Leo Fender was the genius behind one of the most enduring names in electric guitars. His instruments have been endorsed by many famous players throughout the years.

Leo was born in Fullerton near California on 10th August 1909. He was the only son of Clarence Monte Fender and Harriet Elvira Wood, owners of a successful orange grove located between Anaheim and Fullerton, California.

Surprisingly, Leo never learned played guitar the only musical instrument he played was the saxophone. His passion was electrical engineering and electronics which was fuelled by his uncle who ran an automotive-electric shop, who used to give the young impressionable Leo components for him to tinker with. Leo spent his formative years teaching himself how circuits worked and soon thereafter, Leo began repairing radios in a small shop in his parents' home.

In the spring of 1928, Leo graduated from Fullerton Union High School, and entered Fullerton Junior College studying accounting. While he was studying, he continued to teach himself electronics, and tinker with radios and other electrical items. He never took any kind of electronics course whilst in college.