Steve Rogers was born July 4, 1917, in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City. His father died when Steve was only a child and his mother died of pneumonia while he was a teen. By early 1940, before America’s entry into World War II, Rogers is a tall but scrawny “fine arts” student specializing in Comic Book illustration.
Disturbed by the rise of the Third Reich, Rogers attempts to enlist, believing like all comic book artists that he could kick Nazi ass like Lee Marvin, only to be rejected due to being a pitiful weakling. U.S. Army General Chester Phillips, looking for test subjects, offers Rogers the chance to serve his country by taking part in a top-secret defense project — Operation: Rebirth, which seeks to develop a means of creating physically superior soldiers. Rogers volunteers and is chosen as the first human test subject for the Super-Soldier serum.
That night Operation: Rebirth is implemented, Rogers receives injections and oral doses of the Super-Soldier Serum. He is then exposed to a controlled burst of “Vita-Rays” which alters his physiology almost instantly from its relatively frail form to the maximum of human efficiency, greatly enhancing his musculature and reflexes, turning him into a “nearly perfect human being.” In an effort to maintain his job security, the scientist who had created the formula Abraham Erskine had “forgotten” to write down the crucial portions of the Super-Soldier formula and committed it to memory so it cannot be duplicated. After the transformation, a Nazi spy shoots Erskine before he can give the “Miss America Serum” to the female counterpart chosen to be Rogers’ girlfriend. Furious that he would no longer have a model like Super-Babe by his side, Rogers bitch-slaps the spy into the Vita-Ray machine, killing him on impact.
The United States government, making the most of its one super-soldier re-imagines him as a superhero that serves as both a counter-intelligence agent and a propaganda symbol to counter Nazi Germany’s head of terrorist operations, the Red Skull. To that end, Rogers is given a uniform modeled after the American flag (based on Rogers’ own sketches) a bulletproof shield, and the codename Captain America. He is also given a cover identity as a clumsy infantry private at Camp Lehigh in Virginia. While there, Rogers makes “friends” with the camp’s teenage mascot, James “Bucky” Barnes. One night while Rogers is undressing, Barnes accidentally learns of his secret identity and blackmails him in to keeping the secret if he can become Captain America’s sidekick. Rogers with no other options than snapping Barnes’ neck on the spot, agrees and trains him.
Soon after, Rogers meets President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who presents him with a cool new shield, forged from an alloy of steel and vibranium. The alloy is indestructible, yet the shield is light enough to use as a discus-like weapon that can be angled to return to him, as opposed to his first shield with it’s lame Dorito-chip shape. After a round of drinks with the President, it was off to the front for Rogers.
Throughout World War II, Captain America and Bucky fight the Nazi menace both on their own and as members of the superhero team the Invaders. In late April 1945, Captain America and Bucky try to stop the villainous Baron Zemo from destroying an experimental drone plane. Zemo launches the plane with an armed explosive on it, with Rogers and Barnes in hot pursuit. They reach the plane just before it takes off, and seeing this as his chance to ditch his annoying sidekick, Rogers suggests that Bucky try to defuse the bomb. Bucky cuts the wrong wire causing the drone plane to explode in mid-air, and Rogers is hurled into the freezing waters of the North Atlantic, free of his sidekick at last.
Years later, the superhero team the Avengers discovers Steve Rogers’ body in a block of ice in the North Atlantic, the Captain’s uniform under his soldier’s fatigues and still carrying his shield. The block had begun to melt after the Sub-Mariner throws it into the ocean, enraged that an Arctic Inuit tribe is worshiping a has-been “Surface Cracker” instead of a godlike figure like himself. After he revives, they piece together that Rogers had been preserved in a block of ice since 1945, surviving in such a state only because of his enhancements from Operation Rebirth. Needing to fill the gap of membership by the disappearance of the Hulk, Rogers accepts membership in the Avengers, provided that he does not have to have a sidekick.
While the core team of Avengers were on sabbatical or vacation, Steve decided to take applications for new members, approving membership that the other Avengers might have deemed “Questionable” like the former carnie and petty thief Hawkeye, and the mutant terrorist Quicksilver and his sister the probability-altering Scarlet Witch as Avenger replacements. When questioned about his shady new colleagues, Rogers simply stated “They all seemed upstanding and trustworthy during their interviews”.
After returning to modern life, Rogers meets Sam Wilson while attending a Big Brothers Big Sisters meeting, and trains him to become the first African-American superhero the Falcon, because “Coloreds deserve a superhero too!” During this time Rogers wartime friend Nick Fury, now the Director of SHIELD, introduced Steve to agent Sharon Carter for a very secret mission for National Security of an “intimate nature”. Rogers and Carter would spend many “missions” together, up until after the Civil War, when Carter in a fit of hypnotized jealousy, puts three rounds in his chest resulting in the Death of Captain America.
While the world believed Captain America had been killed, the shots fired by Carter were shot from a “Quantum Leap” gun, which flung him out of sync with time causing him to relive moments from his past. With the help of a strange man named Al and his computer pal Ziggy, Rogers is able to “Leap” back to the present and expel the consciousness of the Red Skull from Captain America’s body.
Currently an Avenger, Rogers typically returns to a leadership position, especially when Tony Stark is on “sick-leave”. Unfortunately for Rogers, he hasn’t been brought up to speed on most things, and he still views the world from a 1940’s sensibility.