Browning, John Moses

Browning, John Moses

(1855–1926) gunsmith, inventor; born in Ogden, Utah. The son of Mormon parents, he produced his first gun from scrap iron at age 13. He formed Browning Brothers Company and marketed his products through the Colt Company. He patented a breech-loading single-shot rifle (1879) and the Browning automatic pistol (1911). He produced the Browning machine gun (1917) and the Browning automatic rifle (1918) for use in World War I. (It was a Browning pistol that was used to assassinate Archduke Ferdinand in 1914 and so begin World War I.) He expanded his business overseas and died in Belgium.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.