Val A. Browning


Val A. Browning

Val Allen Browning (20 August 1895–1994) was a noted Utah 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 considered by many to be the most important gun inventor in history.

Life

Born in Ogden, Utah on 20 August 1895, Val Browning graduated Ogden High School in 1913 and later studied law and engineering at Cornell University and received his engineering degree in 1917.

In 1918, Val Browning was commissioned as a second lieutenant with the United States Army, and served with the 79th American 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, Val 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).

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

Val received 48 gun patents during his career, compared to his father John Browning's 128 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.

Mr. 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 1940's purchase of some of the shares of W. L. Wattis of his founding shares in Utah Construction Company, Val Browning shared in the substantial gains in the sale of Utah International. Val Browning was a benefactor of the Dixie State College of Utah and Weber State University and his donation of his substantial collection of European fine art formed the basis of the Utah Museum of Fine Art masterwork paintings.

Val Browning died in 1994 in Ogden, Utah.

References

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

External links

* [http://community.weber.edu/vbc Val A Browning Center for the Performing Arts]
* [http://www.umfa.utah.edu Utah Museum of Fine Arts]
* [http://www.legacy.com/DeseretNews/Obituaries.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonId=878736 Obituary of son] , John Val Browning - "Deseret News"


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