John Browning Biography

(Firearms Designer)

Birthday: January 23, 1855 (Aquarius)

Born In: Ogden, Utah, United States

John Moses Browning was an firearms designer from America. He was known for designing various small arms and automatic weapons. He is widely regarded for his commercial contributions to the Colt, Remington, and Winchester firms. He has also played a significant role in contributing to the U.S. military and Allied armed forces. He was known as the “father of modern firearms” and his designs and inventions have protected the cause of freedom across the world. His gun designs have also been used by hunters, shooters, and outdoorsmen for many decades. It all started when Browning was 13 and made his first gun at his father’s gun shop. Within a few years, he had already patented a self-cocking single-shot rifle, which he sold to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. The Browning automatic rifle was used by the U.S. Army for many decades during the First and Second World Wars. In the 21st century, people still use improved variants of his designed military weapons around the world. Some of his most notable guns designs have been manufactured by Remington, Winchester, Colt, Savage, Stevens, and Fabrique Nationale de Herstal of Belgium.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: John Moses Browning

Died At Age: 71


Spouse/Ex-: Rachel Therese Child Browning

father: Jonathan Browning

mother: Elizabeth Caroline Clark Browning

siblings: Asenath Elizabeth Browning, Barbara Jane Browning, Benjamin Franklin Browning, David Elias Browning, Elizabeth Caroline Browning, Emma Eliza Browning, George Emmett Browning, James Allen Browning, John Wesley Browning, Jonathan Alma Browning, Jonathan Edmund Browning, Martha Clarissa Browning, Mary Malvina Browning, Matthew Sandefur Browning, Melinda Vashti Browning, Nancy Lavina Browning, Olive Ann Browning, Sarah Ann Browning, Sarah Browning, Susan Oetta Browning, Thomas Samuel Browning

children: Val A. Browning

Born Country: United States

Inventors American Men

Died on: November 26, 1926

place of death: Liège, Belgium

U.S. State: Utah

Cause of Death: Heart Failure

City: Ogden, Utah

Founder/Co-Founder: Browning Arms Company

More Facts

awards: John Scott Medal (1905)
Order of Léopold (1914)

Childhood & Early Life
John Browning was born on January 23, 1855, to Jonathan Browning and Elizabeth Caroline Clark in Ogden, Utah. His father had started a gunsmith shop in 1852. At the age of seven, Browning started working in his father's shop and learned basic engineering and manufacturing principles.
In 1878, he and his younger brother developed their first rifle, a single-shot falling block action design. They started producing more firearms and created a small company called Browning Arms Company. Within four years, they had employed his half-brothers Jonathan, Thomas, William, and George as well.
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John Browning was becoming better at his craft with time. By the time he turned 24, he had already received his first patent for a rifle that Winchester manufactured in 1885.
Winchester then asked a young Browning to design a lever-action-repeating shotgun. He managed to create one with a better mechanism and patented his first pump model shotgun in 1888.
During the late 19th century and early 20th century, Browning and the Winchester firearms had a successful collaboration, creating a string of iconic Winchester rifles and shotguns.
After the success of the Browning automatic rifle, it was adopted by the US Army in 1918. Between 1920 and the 1980s, the US Army used Browning-designed automatic and semiautomatic weapons, including the .45-calibre Model 1911 auto-loading pistol; the Model 1918, .30 calibre Browning automatic rifle (BAR); and crew-served .30 and .50-calibre machine guns.
During the World War 2 between 1939 and 1945, many US soldiers in Europe carried Browning automatic rifles and used his deadly machine guns.
Family & Personal Life
He married Rachel Theresa Child Browning on April 10, 1879, in Ogden, Utah. The couple had ten children, out of who two died in infancy.
Browning served a two-year mission in Georgia from March 28, 1887, and was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Death & Legacy
John Browning never retired from his career even in his last years and worked on his craft until the day he died. On November 26, 1926, he was working on a self-loading pistol design for Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (FN). He suffered a heart failure and passed away in the design shop of his son Val A. Browning.
The pistol that he was working on was completed by Belgian designer Dieudonne Saive in 1935. Called the Fabrique Nationale GP35, the final pistol designed by Browning is a favorite of sportsmen and gun collectors around the world. Browning firearms have been recreated at hundreds of factories across the world.
Following his death, the Browning Arms Company was officially founded in 1927. It is located in Morgan, Utah, a few miles from where Browning was born.
His career spanned over five decades and his designs were used as deadly tools in several wars. It has been almost a century since his death and yet, there have not been many changes in the modern firearm industry.
Thanks to his contributions, Browning made Ogden, Utah, as the center of innovation in firearms design during his lifetime. He had patented over 120 individual firearms and is considered the most innovative firearm designer ever.
He was awarded the John Scott Medal in 1905 and the Order of Léopold in the year 1914.
His father, Jonathan, was a polygamist and married thrice, fathering 22 children, including Browning.

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