Gaston Glock, inventor of namesake gun, dead at 94

by Tommy Grant

Gaston Glock, the man responsible for developing the namesake weapon, died on Wednesday at the age of 94. 

Glock developed the famous handgun in the 1980s, when the Austrian military was looking for a new, innovative weapon. Until then, the Glock company had made military knives and consumer goods including curtain rods. 

Glock assembled a team of firearms experts and came up with the Glock 17, a lightweight semi-automatic gun largely made of plastic. The revolutionary design – with a frame made of a high-strength, nylon-based polymer and only the slide made of metal – beat several other companies’ blueprints and secured his upstart outfit the contract. 

The easily assembled weapon became a global hit, with the Austrian winning loyal followings among police and military across the world. 

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The Glock has been referenced in numerous films and rap songs, including Snoop Dogg’s “Protocol” and Wu-Tang Clan’s “Da Glock.”

U.S. soldiers found toppled Iraqi President Saddam Hussein hiding with a Glock in a hole in the ground in 2003. They later presented that weapon to U.S. President George W. Bush.

Glock faced criticism from gun-control advocates who complained that he popularized powerful guns and made them easy to conceal and hold more ammunition. 

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Glock himself was reclusive, rarely granting interviews, and shunned public debate. In 2000, he refused to join other weapons manufacturers in signing a voluntary gun control deal with the United States. 

At the age of 70, he survived an attempt on his life when an investment broker who managed his assets hired a former wrestler to attack him with a rubber hammer, a court heard.

glock handgun

Glock had grown suspicious of how the broker was managing his affairs and had flown to Luxembourg to confront him, lawyers said. He suffered seven blows to the head but fended off the assault. The broker, Charles Ewert, and the attacker, Jacques Pecheur, were both jailed.

His 49-year-old marriage with Helga Glock ended in divorce in 2011 and the pair embarked on a lengthy legal battle over alimony. Soon after, he married his second wife, Kathrin, more than 50 years his junior.

He owned a lakefront mansion and a state-of-the-art equestrian sports center in the province of Carinthia, where celebrities showed up for parties. 

He is survived by his wife, a daughter and two sons.

Reuters contributed to this report. 

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