A consummate entertainer, he played live regularly well into this year, with a residency at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York, and recorded an album as recently as 2005, despite a broken eardrum and arthritis that paralyzed some fingers on both hands. When he shattered his right elbow in 1948, setting it would freeze it in place, never to bend again...so he had it set at an angle so he could continue to play. His work spanned jazz, country, and rock & roll, playing with everyone from Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby to Eric Clapton, Sting, and Chet Atkins.
Back when I used to work in a publisher's warehouse, my boss, an old hippie and deadhead, would play music on the stereo as we worked. One day he put on an old bit from the Les Paul and Mary Ford show, in which Les claimed to have just invented the "gas guitar", which turned out to run on laughing gas, leading to a wild drug trip scene in which he hallucinates that they're in a gondola and Mary sings a gondolier song. That was my introduction to Les Paul the musician, rather than Les Paul the name of a model of guitar. Great fun!
New York Times obituary
Iridium Jazz Club's obituary
I recommend reading both. They're very well written.