1. Mikhail Kalashnikov, the Russian inventor of the AK-47, died at age 94.
Tens of millions of Kalashnikov rifles have been manufactured, according to the Associated Press.
2. He previously said he was not worried about his personal contribution to bloodshed. “I sleep well. It’s the politicians who are to blame for failing to come to an agreement and resorting to violence.”
3. He was invited to festivities to celebrate his 90th birthday at the Kremlin in Moscow in 2009. President Vladimir Putin said, “The Kalashnikov rifle is a symbol of the creative genius of our people,” according to the AP.
4. Kalashnikov made little money from his gun. He once said he would have been better off designing a lawn mower, the BBC reported.
5. Kalashnikov set out to make the AK-47 after he was injured in the 1941 battle of Bryansk against Nazi forces, when a shell hit his tank. He brooded about the superior automatic rifles he’d seen the Nazis deploy and five years later his gun was born.
“Blame the Nazi Germans for making me become a gun designer,” he said, according to the AP. “I always wanted to construct agricultural machinery.”