Even if you’ve never heard his music, you’ve likely heard music performed on guitars that carry musician Les Paul’s name. The legendary musician created the electric guitar known as the “Les Paul.” The Gibson Les Paul guitar and the the clone models it inspired has been used by many of the greatest guitarists the world over. It’s thus an understatment to say that his creation defined part of the sound of American rock and roll and other musical genres.

Les Paul – born Lester William Polfuss in Wisconsin, 1915 – passed away in a New York hospital today at the age of 94, due to complications from pneumonia. Paul had been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, and honored by them in 2008 with the American Music Master award.