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The Inventor of the Uzi

Uziel Gal with an Uzi (Photo: Moshe Pridan/GPO)

Uziel "Uzi" Gal

Lived: December 15, 1923 - September 7, 2002

Known for: An Israeli gun designer, Gal was best known as the inventor and namesake of the Uzi submachine gun.

Why you should know him: Born to a Jewish family in Weimar, Germany, Uzi Gal moved to England when the Nazis came to power in 1933. He then made aliyah (immigrated) to the Holy Land three years later, in 1936.

Shortly after the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, Gal began designing the Uzi submachine gun. It was officially adopted by the IDF in 1951 and named for its creator. Gal actually did not want the gun named after him, but this request was ignored.

Gal was decorated by the IDF in 1955 and in 1958 was the first recipient of the Israel Security Award, presented to him by David Ben-Gurion.

Gal retired from the IDF in 1975, and moved to the United States where his daughter Tamar could receive medical treatment for severe brain damage. He continued his work designing firearms, including the creation of the Ruger MP9 submachine gun, until his death from cancer in 2002. Uzi Gal's body was flown back to Israel where he was buried.

Tags: Israelis You Should Know

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