Legendary Amp Maker Jim Marshall Dead at 88

Jim Marshall, the founder of Marshall Amplification and the true "Father of Loud," has died at age 88.

An official statement on Marshall's website reads:

"It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved founder and leader for the past 50 years, Jim Marshall. While mourning the Guv’nor though, we also salute a legendary man who led a full and truly remarkable life.

"Jim’s ascent into the history books as ‘the Father of Loud’ and the man responsible for ‘the Sound of Rock’ is a true rags-to-riches tale. Cruelly robbed of his youth by tubercular bones, Jim rose to become one of the four forefathers responsible for creating the tools that allowed rock guitar as we know and love it today to be born. The ground breaking quartet also includes the late, great trio of Leo Fender, Les Paul and Seth Lover – together with Jim, they truly are the cornerstones of all things rock.

"In addition to the creation of the amps chosen by countless guitar heroes and game changing bands, Jim was also an incredibly humble and generous man who, over the past several decades, has quietly donated many millions of pounds to worthy causes.

"While the entire Marshall Amplification family mourns Jim’s passing and will miss him tremendously, we all feel richer for having known him and are happy in the knowledge that he is now in a much better place which has just got a whole lot louder!

"Rest in Peace & thank you Jim.

"Your memory; the music and joy your amps have brought to countless millions for the past five decades; and that world-famous, omnipresent script logo that proudly bears your name will always live on."

There are only a few people who truly can be credited with shaping the sound of music as we know it today, and Marshall certainly can be counted among those. The legendary industry figure pioneered guitar amplification, selling the first models of his amps out of a music store he owned in Hanwell, England, during the early 1960s to clients like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend, officially founding Marshall Amplification in 1962.

"The news of Jim Marshall passing is deeply saddening," wrote Slash, a longtime Marshall user, via Twitter. "[Rock and roll] will never be the same without him. But, his amps will live on FOREVER!"

Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx wrote, "R.I.P. Jim Marshall. You were responsible for some of the greatest audio moments in music's history and 50% of all our hearing loss."

Marshall was born on July 29, 1923 in Acton, West London. Spinner reports that Marshall passed away this morning after battling cancer and suffering several strokes.

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Josh Hart

Josh Hart is a former web producer and staff writer for Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado magazines (2010–2012). He has since pursued writing fiction under various pseudonyms while exploring the technical underpinnings of journalism, now serving as a senior software engineer for The Seattle Times.