Val A. Browning

Business

Val A. Browning (1895-1994)

was born in Ogden, Utah. He graduated from Ogden High School in 1913, and spent one year at the Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre at Liege, Belgium, learning the French language and acquiring the rudiments of gun manufacturing. He then studied engineering and law at Cornell University.

During World War I, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Army and was ordered to France to teach instructors at three U.S. Army machine gun schools and was placed at the front as a machine gun troubleshooter. He followed the passion of his father, John Moses, in firearms design and production. After the death of his father, Mr. Browning helped to secure the future of the family business by participating in the establishment of the Browning Arms Company and was granted some 48 U.S. patents in the course of his career.

Browning was decorated by King Baudouin of Belgium as Chevalier de lordre de Leopold, the highest order of Belgium, for “outstanding contribution to the Gun Making Art.” He holds an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Dixie State College and an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Weber State University. Browning was a major benefactor of Dixie State College, and his generous gifts have made possible the Val A. Browning Learning Resource Center and the Val. A. Browning Library on campus. He has provided scholarship and cultural arts endowments at Dixie State College.

In addition to being a successful businessman, Browning was a broadly cultured man with a deep appreciation of all the fine arts. Val married Ann Chaffin of Farmington, Utah, and they are the parents of four children.