About Jeff Cooper
John Dean “Jeff” Cooper was born in Los Angeles in 1920. He started shooting at the age of eleven and joined the R.O.T.C. at Los Angeles High School at the prospect of free 22 ammunition for team members.
At Stanford, he majored in Political Science, joined a fraternity and lettered in fencing. After his first year, he was joined by his high school sweetheart, Janelle, and they dated all through college.
From Stanford he moved immediately in Marine Corps Basic School as an honor graduate in 1941 and spent the next few years in the Pacific War.
Concluding naively that the war had been won, he resigned his commission in 1951, only to sign up again quickly for Korea, during which action he spent much of the time in sensitive operations in Asia. After Korea, he once again reverted to civilian status.
In California in the late 1950’s he invented the sport of practical pistol competition, and, with a lot of help from his friends, perfected the Modern Technique of the Pistol. Thereafter he pursued this art extensively in Latin America, the Phillippines, the Near East, Africa, and the United States, and conducted various schools in England and on the Continent.
While in California he went back to school and earned an M.A. in history from the University of California at Riverside.
In 1975, their children being grown and gone, Jeff and Janelle moved to Gunsite Ranch in Arizona and founded the American Pistol Institute (now Gunsite Academy) which teaches crisis management with all small arms to private citizens, the law enforcement establishment, and the U.S. Armed Forces.
It may be safely stated that today Gunsite Academy constitutes the fountainhead of modern smallarms doctrine.
Jeff served on the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association and then as a member of the Executive Council, was the founder and lifetime honorary chairman of the International Practical Shooting Confederation, and served for many years as Editor-at-Large for Guns and Ammo Magazine.
The author of numerous books, both technical and autobiographical, Jeff died at the age of 86 at his home (the Sconce) at Gunsite in September of 2006. His final resting place is the mausoleum on the Gunsite grounds.