ABOUT THE COLONEL
Here are a few key dates and events in the life of Colonel Jeff Cooper, founder of the famous Gunsite Academy and writer of many seminal books and articles on the use of handguns and rifles.
John Dean “Jeff” Cooper was born on May 10, 1920, in Los Angeles, California.
He entered the U.S. Marine Corps with a regular commission as a second lieutenant in 1941 after completing a degree in political science from Stanford University.
Cooper served during World War II and the Korean War and left the Corps as a lieutenant colonel following the Korean War.
After a civilian career as a high school and college teacher from the 1950s to the 1970s, his focus changed to firearms and personal defense.
In 1976, he founded the American Pistol Institute, which would later become the world-renowned Gunsite Academy. During this time, he developed the “modern technique” for using a handgun in a defensive situation.
In response to actions he saw during combat and in discussions with members of civilian law enforcement, he codified his color code to help people make the mental jump from unaware to willing and ready to shoot, if need be.
Cooper later focused on rifle use, rather than pistol use, and wrote the seminal book, The Art of the Rifle.
He also wrote several books recounting his life adventures, as well as essays and short stories, including Fireworks (1980); Another Country: Personal Adventures of the Twentieth Century (1992); To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth (1988); and C Stories (2004).
Cooper passed away at his home at Gunsite on September 25, 2006, at the age of 86.