Hal Jordan was born in Coast City to Martin Jordan and Jessica Jordan, the middle child of three children. He lived with his older brother Jack and a younger brother Jim. As a young child, he idolized his father, a test pilot who worked for Ferris Aircraft. At a very young age, he had to face his greatest fears when his father died in a plane crash right before his eyes. Despite his family's wishes, he followed in his father's footsteps and eventually joined the United States Air Force on his 18th birthday, turning up that very morning outside the Armed Forces Career Center, before it had even opened.
Many years later, a dying alien named Abin Sur, member of the Green Lantern Corps, crash-landed his starship in the Californian desert. Having selected a replacement officer for his position, the power ring chose Hal Jordan for his ability to overcome great fear. The ring and its abilities were explained to him, and he inherited the mantle of Green Lantern. Acting as a galactic police officer, it was his job to serve and protect all life in Sector 2814. He would soon learn that there were another 3599 Green Lanterns across the universe, all monitored and empowered by mystical creatures called the Guardians. Hal received training from some of the best the Corps had to offer, including drill sergeant Kilowog, and his mentor Sinestro. During his training, Hal learned that Sinestro has been subjugating his home planet, Korugar, through fear, using his ring. After Hal reported these acts to the Guardians and fellow Corps members, he battled Sinestro, and emerged victorious. Along with the rest of the Corps, he then testified against Sinestro at his trial. Expelled from the Corps and banished by the Guardians to the Antimatter Universe as punishment, Sinestro became a sworn enemy to the Corps and gained a new Qwardpower ring, exacting the start of his revenge.
As Green Lantern, Hal Jordan patrolled the galaxy and took on many missions in space. He continued to spend his time at home working at Ferris Aircraft, where he romantically pursued his boss, the lovely Carol Ferris. He would entrust his secrets to a young Eskimo lad who worked as his mechanic, Tom Kalmaku.