This successful CEO has been designing firearms for more than 30 years. He was born in Murfeesboro, Tenn., in 1954, where guns provided a source of protection and recreation for the family. His keen eye helped him develop into an expert marksman, and also helped him pursue his love of photography—he opened his own photography studio after he graduated from high school.
In his spare time, he could be found in his workshop tinkering with guns. It wasn’t long before those two passions—photography and firearms—would merge. A photo shoot of a river patrol gunboat on Nashville’s Stones River was the impetus that sent him to a sketchbook to design a gun. That led to a second gun, which eventually led to the opening of his own (eponymous) business.
In the past century, he was one of only seven individuals to have invented a firearm that was later adopted for use by the U.S. military. The Army even recognized one of his firearms as one of the “Top Ten Greatest Inventions” in 2005. The following year, he received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.Click here to learn more about this firearm manufacturer and the gun pictured here. This is just one of the many fascinating treasures on display at the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Va.