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Steven "Steve" Rogers was born in 1922 to poor immigrant parents, and it was during the Great Depression in New York City. Steve's parents died at quite an early age and he grew up as a fragile and undersized boy, but he had the heart of a lion. Feeling indebted to the American Government, Steve had a strong sense of nationalism. Seeing footage of the atrocities of the Nazis in Europe, he tried to get himself enlisted in the army. Unfortunately, he was rejected because of his frail build and underwhelming health.
In a conversation with his best friend Bucky, he mentions about how much he really wants to fight for the country regardless of his weaknesses. General Chester Phillips of the US Army overhears this conversation and steps up to Steve, offering him to participate in a top secret experiment that could potentially enhance his abilities as a human being, called Project Rebirth. Even knowing that he would have to participate at his own risk, Steve agrees and is brought to meet Doctor Abraham Erskine, the creator of the Super-Soldier Serum.
After a few weeks of running tests Steve, he is finally brought in for the experiment where he is given the serum and put in a vita-ray chamber. Steve emerges from the chamber a very formidable man and completely different from his previous self. He had gained pounds of muscles and become much taller. The experiment was a success, and shortly after Steve was brought out, Doctor Abraham is killed by a Nazi spy, before he had the chance to translate his experiment to working formula paper. Steve Rogers would be the only human to ever benefit from the Super-Soldier Serum.
After the experiment, Steve joined the army and began a 3-month intense training course where he was taught physical combat, gymnastics, and other skills by the military personnel. He was then assigned the alias Captain America, as a symbolic response to Red Skull, his Nazi nemesis. Captain America then joined the army in World War II with his best friend and sidekick Bucky. During the war, he also fought alongside other metahumans such as Namor the Sub-Mariner, Human Torch, and sometimes even James Howlett aka Wolverine.
Towards the end of the war, Captain America and Bucky attempt to stop a drone plane carrying bombs, but the plane explodes on air and Bucky was presumed dead while Steve was thrown into the Arctic waters. Although frozen, the Super-Soldier Serum kept him alive and decades later he is discovered by S.H.I.E.L.D. and recovered. That marked the beginning of his journey as an Avenger.
In an alternate version however, he is discovered not by S.H.I.E.L.D., but by his old comrade Namor, whom then gets engaged in a fight with the Avengers themselves. The Avengers then recruit Captain America as a founding member, replacing Hulk.