Albert Pope was a man of modest origins from Boston, who served in the Civil War. Discharged with the honorary rank of Leutenant Colonel, he was known as Colonel Albert Pope thereafter. After the war, Pope went into the shoe business and did very well. In 1876 Pope visited an Exposition in Philadelphia, and saw his first bicycle, a high wheeled "ordinary" bike. Intrigued, he visited England to learn more about their manufacture, and returned to the United States determined to manufacture bicycles. First he imported English bikes, then began building his own.
He acquired a 25% interest in the Lallement patent, which was being agressively enforced. Later he acquired a 75% ownership in the patent. He designed a production line for assembly of his Columbia bicycle. Eventually, he had two bicycle factories, a tire factory, and a steel tubing factory. All parts for the bicycle were made in-house. Later, when Henry Ford began manufacture of his Model T, he adopted Pope's ideas of a production line and integrated production. The Columbia sold for $95, which was cheaper than the $113 of the English import. With 10 million bicycles sold in the U.S by the 1890s, Pope made a fortune in the bicycle business.
Photo from Robert Howe's Antique Bicycle Photo Page