Les Paulby K-Berens
Les Paul is known around the world for his guitar playing, as an entertainer and for inventing the solid-body electric guitar. In August 2009, Paul died at the age of 94 due to pneumonia, and he was buried near Milwaukee in Wisconsin at the Prairie Home Cemetery. The burial itself was very small and private, but there was a public memorial for fans.
Paul’s closed casket went on a small tour for fans before the private burial, starting in New York, moving to the Gibson showroom in Manhattan and finishing with over 1,500 people who viewed the casket at the Milwaukee Discovery World and were given free admission to their sound exhibit for the day.
Paul has received many posthumous awards and honors, including being listed as one of Time magazine’s top ten electric guitar players. Roughly a year after his death, a tribute concert was held on Paul’s birthday. It was held at the jazz club in Manhattan where Paul had played a show almost every week up until his death. Among the performers were Jeff Beck and some other notable guitarists.
Although Paul’s burial was private, the plot of land where he was laid to rest is separate from the rest of his family so visitors can honor it without disturbing the graves of his relatives.