Val A. Browning

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Val Allen Browning
Val Browning M1918 BAR.jpg
Lt. Val Browning with the Browning Automatic Rifle
Born (1895-08-20)August 20, 1895
Ogden, Utah Territory
Died May 16, 1994(1994-05-16) (aged 98)
Ogden, Utah, U.S.
Allegiance United States United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1917–1918
Rank 1st Lieutenant
Unit 79th Infantry Division
Awards Order of Leopold
Relations John M Browning (father)
Jonathan Browning (grandfather)
Other work industrialist, philanthropist, gun manufacturer

Val Allen Browning (August 20, 1895 – May 16, 1994)[1] was an American industrialist, philanthropist and third generation gun innovator. His grandfather, Jonathan Browning, opened a gun shop in Ogden, Utah in 1852 and his father, John Browning, is regarded as one of the most successful firearms designers of the 20th century.[2]

Life[edit]

Born in Ogden, Utah Territory, Browning graduated from Ogden High School in 1913 and later studied law and engineering at Cornell University.

In 1918, Browning was commissioned as a second lieutenant with the United States Army, and served with the 79th Infantry Division at Verdun. In 1920, he became the manager of the manufacturing of John Browning guns in Liege, Belgium, and served as his father's personal representative to the Fabrique Nationale de Herstal company. Upon his father's death in 1926, Browning had the responsibility of completing the projects that were not finished by his father, including the Browning Superposed shotgun and the Browning Hi-Power pistol (GP-35) (the latter in cooperation with his father's Belgian assistant, Dieudonné Saive).

In 1924, Browning married Ann Chaffin (1901–1975) of Farmington, Utah and they had four children. They lived in Belgium until 1935 when Browning returned to Utah as President of Browning Arms Company.

Browning received 48 gun patents during his career, compared to his father John Browning's 128 American gun patents. In 1955, Val Browning was awarded Knighthood in the Order of Léopold by King Baudouin of Belgium for an "outstanding contribution to the Gun Making Art;" an honor that had been bestowed upon his father in 1914.

Browning spent his career representing business interests in the United States and Europe. In addition to chairing Browning Arms, he served as director of the First Security Corporation, Utah International, Amalgamated Sugar Company, and the Mountain Fuel Supply Company. Through the 1940s purchase of some of the shares of W. L. Wattis of his founding shares in Utah Construction Company, Browning shared in the substantial gains in the sale of Utah International. Browning was a benefactor of the Dixie State University and Weber State University and his donation of his substantial collection of European fine art formed the basis of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts masterwork paintings.

Browning died in 1994. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Deaths". Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah). May 19, 1994. Retrieved 2009-10-12. 
  2. ^ "By 1900, over 75% of the repeating sporting arms on the United States market, both lever and pump, were of John's invention." Browning Firearms Collection brochure from The American Society of Mechanical Engineers

References[edit]

  • Schwing, Neil. The Browning Superposed, John M. Browning's Last Legacy. ISBN 0-87341-350-4

External links[edit]