Although Samuel Colt died in 1862 at age 47, he had lived a remarkably full life, one filled with enough controversy, calamity, failure and success to fill several novels. And, at the time, he was America's wealthiest inventor. Colt’s widow took over the reins of the Colt Armory, memorialized Colt’s name in American mythology, sanitized his foibles and misdeeds, and oversaw the amazing growth of the largest private armory in the world. Colt was born in Hartford, CT, in 1814. His mother died when he was seven and his father remarried a woman with an aversion to his kids--Colt ended up living in a foster home. When Colt was ten, his father retrieved him and put him to work in his silk mill at Ware, MA.