Gaston Glock, creator of the best-selling pistol in the world, died

Gaston Glock 1

Gaston Glock, the engineer and magnate who developed one of the world’s best-selling pistols, died Wednesday at age 94, according to the Austrian news agency APA.

The Austrian found loyal followers in police and military around the world with the weapons that bore his name. Forbes estimated his and his family’s fortune at $1.1 billion in 2021.

Its rise began in the 1980s, when the Austrian military was searching for a new and innovative weapon.

Until then, the Glock company had made military knives and consumer goods such as curtain rods, but it assembled a team of firearms experts and came up with the Glock 17, a lightweight semi-automatic pistol made largely of plastic.

Many American police officers used it and rappers in the country included them in their songs, including “Protocol” by Snoop Dogg and “Da Glock” by Wu-Tang Clan.

Gun control advocates criticized Glock for popularizing powerful pistols that they said were easy to conceal and could hold more ammunition than others.

Glock himself rarely responded to criticism from activists, shied away from public debate, and in 2000 refused to join other gun manufacturers in signing a voluntary arms control agreement with the US government.

His 49-year marriage to Helga Glock ended in divorce in 2011 and the couple embarked on a lengthy legal battle over alimony. Shortly afterward he married his second wife, Kathrin, more than 50 years his junior.

He owned a mansion next to a lake and an equestrian sports center in the province of Carinthia, where celebrities attended parties. He is survived by his wife, a daughter and two sons.