THE NEW YORK TIMES – Gaston Glock, the Austrian engineer who invented the boxy Glock handgun, which has become a weapon of choice for national security forces, law enforcement officials, violent criminals and gun enthusiasts in America and around the world, died on Wednesday. He was 94.
The Glock company announced his death on its website. Their statement did not provide further details.
The Glock is almost everywhere: fired in massacres and shootouts, glamorized in Hollywood movies, featured in television dramas, jammed into the belts of killers and thugs, worn by two-thirds of America’s police officers and the security forces of at least 48 countries.
Its praises are sung by gangsta rappers, its silhouette is posted at airports, and it is a focus of gun-control debates.
Its creator was almost nowhere: a reclusive billionaire who owned his company and lived on a lakefront estate in Austria shielded by guards, lawyers, financiers and servants.
“Before his gun became a global phenomenon, Mr. Glock managed a car-radiator factory.”
He was in the news rarely — in 1999, when a business associate tried to have him killed (Mr. Glock knocked his assailant unconscious); in 2011, when at 82 he divorced his wife and married a 31-year-old woman; and in 2012, when “Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun,” by Paul M. Barrett, was published.
In 2017, Forbes estimated worldwide Glock sales at more than $500 million, with a 65 percent market share of handguns sold in the United States. In 2021, Forbes estimated Mr. Glock’s personal fortune at $1.1 billion.
Before his gun became a global phenomenon, Mr. Glock managed a car-radiator factory near Vienna and, with his wife, ran a small business in his garage making door hinges, curtain rods and knives.
He had not handled a gun since he was a teenage conscript in Hitler’s Wehrmacht at the end of World War II.
But one day in 1980, he overheard two Austrian Army officers talking about a prospective new military contract for a pistol. He spoke to the officers, and later to experts on handguns …