Musical pioneer and namesake of Gibson’s most iconic guitar, Les Paul, was honored today as one of ten 2007 National Medal of Arts recipients by President George W. Bush at a presentation ceremony in the East Room of the White House.

The National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government. The Wizard of Waukesha was among 20 honorees, including 10 who received the National Humanities Medal.

President Bush presented the medal to Paul “for his innovation as a musician, his pioneering designs of the electric guitar, and his groundbreaking recording techniques that have influenced the development of American jazz, blues, and pop music, and inspired generations of guitarists.”

Paul—who is 92 and still plays every Monday night at New York’s Iridium Jazz Club—and other attendees were invited to celebrate with President Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, and Mrs. Lynne Cheney at a reception to honor all recipients.—Gabriel J. Hernandez