Paul Lorin Kantner (March 17, 1941 – January 28, 2016) was an American rock musician.
He is best known as the co-founder, rhythm guitarist, and occasional vocalist of Jefferson Airplane, a leading psychedelic rock band of the counterculture era.
He continued these roles as a member of Jefferson Starship, Jefferson Airplane's successor band.
Jefferson Airplane formed in 1965 when Kantner met Marty Balin.
Kantner eventually became the leader of the group and led it through its highly successful late-1960s period.
In 1970, while still active with Jefferson Airplane, Kantner and several Bay Area musicians recorded a one-off side project, Blows Against the Empire under the name "Paul Kantner/Jefferson Starship".
Jefferson Airplane continued to record and perform until 1973.
Kantner revived the Jefferson Starship name in 1974 and continued to record and perform with them through 1984.
He later led a reformed Jefferson Starship from 1992 until his death in 2016.
Kantner had the longest continuous membership with the band, with 19 years in the original run of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship and 24 years in the revived Jefferson Starship.
At times, he was the only founding Jefferson Airplane member to remain in Jefferson Starship.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Jefferson Airplane in 1996.