Everyone always seems to forget that Tony isn't the first person to hold the title 'Merchant of Death'.
All they see is the man and the deadly weapons he once made. They forget about his other inventions. The ones that helped people. The ones that made a difference.
But it's not just Tony's inventions that have been ignored in favour of his weapons. There was a man before him who was also hailed as the Merchant of Death before his pseudo-resurrection. Alfred Nobel. A man now seen as a guider of peace, giving the highest prizes and accolades to those who deserve it.
Alfred Nobel was once seen as dead and realised he didn't want his leagcy to be dynamite - he didn't want to be viewed as a Merchant of Death anymore, so he changed. He dedicated the fortune he had amassed into prizes for recognising the genius and talented. He is now no longer viewed as a killer, but as a symbol of the greatest people in society: the revolutionary scientists; the influential authors and those who have devoted themselves to peace.
Tony Stark was once lost in an Afghan desert, missing for 3 months and presumed dead by all but his closest friends. He then realised he wanted to help people. He wanted to take responsibility. He no longer wanted to be part of a system that was okay with killing innocents and skirting around morality. He changed and became Iron man, a protector of the people, once called 'Earth's best defender'. Now he is viewed as the man who made the ultimate sacrifice - he is celebrated and held up as the epitome of a hero. He is not remembered for those he killed, but those he saved.
Both men were once accused of 'becoming rich by finding more ways to kill people faster'. Both men thought they were helping end the conflict.
Nobel thought the invention of dynamite would lead to an age of peace, as surely nobody would want to fight when they learnt whole armies could be destroyed in an instant.
Tony Stark thought his inventions would help protect American soldiers on the front lines, never suspecting he would be betrayed, that someone had been double-dealing behind his back.
Both of them wanted to save lives and were able to become something completely different in order to achieve that end goal. Both of them made their world a better place.