In the three billion year history of the legendary Green Lantern Corps, one name outshines all others. Known as the greatest of the Green Lanterns, he is Hal Jordan of Earth, Space Sector 2814. His many years as the emerald gladiator brought him recognition throughout the cosmos.
Born the middle of three brothers, Harold "Hal" Jordan idolized his father, test pilot Martin H. Jordan, and wanted to follow in the elder Jordan's footsteps. One fateful day, that dream all but came to an end. A critical loss of pressure in a jet Martin was test piloting caused the aircraft to crash. Hal saw his father die in front of his eyes.
[Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn #1]
Three years after his father's death, Hal started dating a girl named Jennifer. She helped convince Hal to continue with his love of flying. They dated for a year before Hal broke up with her, wanting to see other people.
[Green Lantern Vol. 3 #48]
At some point in his teenage years, Jordan met Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Flash. For some unknown reason, Garrick does not recall the incident, and the details of this meeting have yet to be revealed.
[Justice League Europe #50]
Garrick was not the only super human Jordan would come into contact with before receiving the power ring. Returning to Coast City after a visit to Metropolis University, Jordan met Clark Kent of Smallville. Their plane hit heavy turbulance which spun the aircraft out of control. Jordan helped calm frightened passengers while Clark Kent secretly stabilized the 707 jet liner.
A few nights later, Jordan's life was jeopardized by his lack of fear. He inadvertantly came across a smuggling ring while scuba diving and charged in without concern for his safety. Jordan was taken aboard their World War II submarine but was later rescued by the authorities when the submarine was run aground by mysterious forces. From this event, Jordan would come to learn to combine his fearlessness with good judgement.
[New Adventures of Superboy #13]
Jordan and Kent would remain acquaintences. Years later, Metroplois reporter Clark Kent interviewed the young test pilot for the Daily Planet.
[Action Comics Weekly #642]
After high school, Jordan enrolled in a West Coast college and earned a degree in aviation engineering. Following that, Jordan enlisted in the Air Force and served under Captain Richard Davis. The commanding officer became mentor and lifelong friend to the young pilot.
[Green Lantern Vol. 2 #144]
Hal met fellow U.S.A.F. pilot Larry Trainor while in the service. Trainor would later leave the Air Force to become a test pilot as would Hal. As fate would have it, this would not be the only coincidence in these mens' lives, as Trainor went on to become the Doom Patrol's own Negative Man.
[JLA: Year One #6]
Another Air Force friend of Hal's, pilot Bill Davis, was killed in Korea. Over the years, Hal kept in touch with Bill's elderly parents, Sally and Steve Davis. There does not appear to be any relation between Richard Davis and Bill's family.
[Green Lantern Vol. 2 #36]
Jordan rose quickly in the ranks and became a test pilot for experimental aircrafts. During a test run of an experimental stealth bomber a fellow test pilot, Vince Hardy, took control of the aircraft at gun point. Hardy offered him a share of the money the Soviets would give for the bomber but Jordan refused. Jordan and Hardy fought, which sent the bomber in an uncontrollable dive. Hardy parachuted to safety but Jordan tried unsuccessfully to pul the plane out of its dive. He too jumped to saftey before the plane crashed into the side of a mountain.
Jordan wandered the Alaskan wilderness for two days before search parties found him. Without Hardy in custody, the miltary chose to make an example of Jordan. He was discharged from the Air Force.
[Green Lantern Vol. 3 #104]
With his degree in aviation engineering, Jordan easily rejoined civilian life. He designed a flightless trainer for the Ferris Aircraft Corporation and for some time was Ferris' number one test pilot. Though his aviation career showed great promise, Jordan was passed over by the astronaut program. Metropolis reporter Clark Kent interviewed the young test pilot for the Daily Planet.
[Showcase #22, Action Comics #642]
Jordan soon started to date Carol Ferris, the daughter of owner Carl Ferris. The elder Ferris was not an easy man to work for and Jordan eventually fell into disfavor with his employer. Carol and Hal broke up, and Carol started to date Biff, another Ferris emplyee. Hal was later fired for an unknown reason, but his mother talked Ferris into rehiring her son. Carl Ferris took Hal back at a third less pay and the test pilot was grounded.
After work, Hal, his brother Jack and Jack's girlfriend Dee, and fellow test pilot Andy went out for drinks. Despondent over recent events, the alcohol Hal drank impaired his judgement. He lost control while driving home, narrowly avoiding a roadside billboard but rolling the jeep into oncoming traffic. Hal woke up in the hospital, and Andy had been critically injured in the accident.
[Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn #1]