The Inventor of the Uzi

The Fellowship  |  January 6, 2021

Uzi Gal, Inventor of the Uzi submachine gun
Uzi Gal, Inventor of the Uzi submachine gun

An Israeli gun designer, Uziel “Uzi” Gal gained fame as the inventor and namesake of the Uzi submachine gun.

Born to a Jewish family in Weimar, Germany, Uzi Gal moved to England when the Nazis came to power in 1933, fleeing during the earliest days of the Holocaust. He then made aliyah (immigrated) to the Holy Land three years later, in 1936.

Shortly after the declaration of independence and founding of the state of Israel in 1948, Gal began work on designing the Uzi submachine gun. The IDF officially adopted the weapon in 1951, naming it for its creator. Gal actually did not want the gun named after him, but his request was ignored.

The IDF decorated Gal for his work in 1955, and in 1958 Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion named him with the very first recipient of the Israel Security Award.

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 now rests in Israel, the homeland he served.