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Good read on John Browning

Posted: Fri May 01, 2009 8:40 am
by TNrifleman

An excerpt:

From his humble roots as country boy raised in the Utah desert, Browning's ongoing dealings with Fabrique Nationale would find him a second home in Belgium. In his typical do-it-yourself philosophy, Browning taught himself French so he would not be limited to using a translator to converse with the FN craftsmen. Among the local citizens of Liege, the six-foot tall Browning became a familiar sight as he took frequent walks wearing his broad-brimmed hat and cape. Such was his reputation at FN, he was respectfully referred to as "Le Maitre," or "The Master." In 1914, in appreciation for help making FN a world-class arms manufacturer, he was knighted to the order of Leopold by King Albert of Belgium. Browning found such awards embarrassing; in no small part for the expected ribbing he would receive from his country-bred brothers on the royal title "Sir" now prefacing his name. Few men live to enjoy such acclaim and recognition while alive. Fewer still are those that do not let fame change them. Notwithstanding all the wealth and recognition he received during his lifetime, Browning was never happier than being at his workbench working on a new gun. His brothers told how he would seldom bother to change from his dress clothes after entering the shop, but would just jump right in to work. His work ethic was best summed up by his mother, Elisabeth, who reminiscing on John as a young child using tools, would close with the oft-repeated statement; "And there’s been grease on John’s face to this blessed day!"