Inventor of Glock pistol, Gaston Glock, dies

 December 28, 2023

The reclusive Austrian inventor of the Glock pistol, Gaston Glock, has died. He was 94. 

The Glock pistol is one of the most recognizable firearms in the world, and a popular weapon among police, militaries, and civilians everywhere.

The pistol has left an imprint on popular culture: from Call of Duty to The Matrix, from Snoop Dogg to Tupac, the Glock has been referenced in countless movies, TV shows, songs, and video games.

Glock inventor dies

Despite the fame of his brand, Glock led a quiet life on a lakefront estate in Austria, where he lived with a retinue of guards and servants.

The billionaire's life was not without drama: in 1999, Glock was attacked in a parking garage by an assassin who had been hired by an associate, Charles Ewert.

The attacker - a professional wrestler - came at Glock with a rubber mallet, but the 70-year-old fought back and escaped with his life. Ewert was sentenced to 20 years in prison for attempted murder.

As a teenager in Austria, Glock was conscripted into Hitler's army. After the war, he studied engineering and started a modest consumer goods business called GLOCK KG.

Gaston Glock was 52 years old when he developed his first semi-automatic pistol, the Glock 17, at the request of the Austrian military.

The 9mm handgun could fire eighteen rounds and was easy to reload. Unlike other handguns at the time, the Glock 17 had a plastic frame; the simple, lightweight design made the Glock reliable and cheap to produce.

Revolutionary inventor

Over the years, the Glock's famed reliability made it the gold standard for handguns.

Paul M. Barrett, the author of the 2012 book Glock, The Rise of America's Gun, said the Glock is "the Google of modern civilian handguns: the pioneer brand that defines its product category."

The Glock company said its founder "revolutionized the world of small arms in the 1980s."

"His internationally renowned GLOCK Perfection stands for uncompromising quality and maximum customer satisfaction. Gaston Glock charted the strategic direction of the GLOCK Group throughout his life and prepared it for the future. His life’s work will continue in his spirit," the statement read.

In 2011, the billionaire had an acrimonious divorce from his first wife, Helga, and married a woman fifty years younger, Kathrin Tschikof.

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

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