The Man Who Invented The AK-47 Dies

Mikhail Kalashnikov died at age 94. He created a gun that would change the world.

1. Mikhail Kalashnikov, the Russian inventor of the AK-47, died at age 94.

Pool / Reuters

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.”

AH Design Concepts/AH Design Concepts

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.

Ria Novosti / Reuters

4. Kalashnikov made little money from his gun. He once said he would have been better off designing a lawn mower, the BBC reported.

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

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.

Brian Blanco / Reuters

“Blame the Nazi Germans for making me become a gun designer,” he said, according to the AP. “I always wanted to construct agricultural machinery.”

6. Kalashnikov was admitted to the hospital with internal bleeding in November and died on Monday in Izhevsk, Udmurtia, where he lived.

Tomas Bravo / Reuters

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Adrian Carrasquillo is the White House correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
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