It's a sad day for the music world. Les Paul has passed away at 94 of complications from pneumonia. He was known not only as the inventor of the solid-body electric guitar, but also very much paved the way for rock and roll music. In addition to the guitar, he invented multi-track recording, overdubbing, delay and various other effects which the music world takes for granted today. There is a nice article about him HERE, and also a nice wikipedia entry HERE.
The first electric guitar I ever played was a borrowed Epiphone Les Paul 'Black Beauty' (at right) when I was in high school. It was a slight upgrade from the first electric guitar Les created, called "The Log" (which he's holding in the left photo).
I was not aware that Les Paul was just his stage name. His real name was Les Polsfuss. And do you know the first person he ever gave a guitar lesson to? None other than Steve Miller (of the Steve Miller Band).
Fly like an eagle, Les. RIP.