On September 25, 2006 the world-renowned firearms expert Jeff Cooper, founder of Gunsite Academy in October 1976 passed away. Jeff Cooper was 86 and had been battling several health problems. To this day his presence at Gunsite is everywhere and his doctrine is upheld.
Born on May 10, 1920, in Los Angeles, as John Dean Cooper, Cooper who always went by “Jeff” earned a master’s degree in history and taught history.
He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II as well as in Southeast Asia and Korea.
In the 1960s, he organized a group called the Bear Valley Gunslingers and the Southwest Combat League. During the organizations shooting competitions at Big Bear, he formulated the Modern Technique of combat handgun shooting which incorporates a large-caliber semi-automatic pistol, a two handed Weaver stance, breath control and a surprise trigger break.
Known in the firearms circles as “The Gunner’s Guru,” Cooper taught about firearms in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, the Philiippines, Germany, Belgium, Sweeden, South Africa and Rhodesia. Many called him the world’s foremost expert on small arms (rifles, pistols and shotguns).
He was editor at large of guns and Ammo Magazine and a prolific writer on firearms.
His books include “The Art of the Rifle,” “Another Country,” Sports Car Annual,” “Fireworks,” “To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth,” “C Stories” and “Gunsite Gossip,” Volumes I, II and III.
The Jeff Cooper legacy foundation provides scholarships for firearms training (250 Defensive Pistol Class) in the Cooper tradition. Visit their website at www.jeffcooperfoundation.org for more information.