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Anthony Edward Stark, or more popularly known as Tony Stark, was born in the year 1970 to Howard and Maria Stark. Howard Stark was the founder of Stark Industries, and a renowned scientist and engineer who was involved with many projects with the government. He becomes acquainted with Captain America when he presents the super soldier with his Vibranium shield. Tony lived most of his childhood in the absence of his father - understandably because Howard was a busy man doing great things. Tony could not understand his father's plans for him as he was very young, and grew up thinking that his father did not care for him in the slightest. He subsequently became very attached to their family butler, Edwin Jarvis.
Like his dad, Tony had a brilliant mind. At age four, he built his first circuit board and before the age of 7, he had built a V8 motorbike engine. At 17, he graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and met his would be best friend James Rhodes. Four years later, Tony lost both of his parents in what was reported as a fatal car crash in Long Island. He would much later learn that they had actually been murdered by The Winter Soldier aka Bucky, Captain America's best friend. With the death of Howard, Obadiah Stane assumed the role of interim CEO for Stark Industries for a few months while Tony was in grief and shortly after, Tony took over the position. A short time after he became CEO, Jarvis too passes on.
Shortly after the death of Jarvis and his inheritance of Stark Industries, Tony builds himself a mansion incorporated with an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system called Just A Rather Very Intelligent System or J.A.R.V.I.S., named after his beloved Butler who had just died. James Rhodes joined the United States Air Force and became a middle man between Tony and the United States Military. Stark Industries became a weapons dealer for the military, offering the most advanced technology in weaponry, and earning the company billions of dollars. Tony's arrogance at the time made him blind to the fact that while his weapons were making his company money and presumably used by the military to protect the country, they were also used to destroy and kill.
During a New Year's party in 1991, Tony became acquainted with a few people whom he had no idea would have major impacts on his life. The first was Maya Hansen, a scientist who was working on rewriting genetic codes that could be revolutionary to cell regeneration in humans. Tony seemed interested, but after showing him her research on Project Extremis, they spent the night together only to have Tony leave her in the morning, proving that he wasn't really interested in her research to begin with. On their way up to Tony's room the night before in the lift, they are interrupted by Aldrich Killan, a crippled but brilliant scientist who had ideas on technological advancement but did not have the financial backing. Tony lies to Aldrich and tells him to meet him at the rooftop, never showing up. Maya and Aldrich would later work together on Project Extremis and successfully create a codes that could weaponize humans and give them regenerative abilities. Tony would not meet either of them again until after the Battle of New York, where Aldrich destroys his mansion and pursued his intend to use Project Extremis for terrorism.
Backtracking to the party, Tony meets a kind scientist named Ho Yinsen but abruptly brushes him off, not knowing that it is Yinsen who would later save his life when he is attacked and kidnapped by terrorist, prior to Iron Man Mark I. It was Yinsen who helped him build his first Iron Suit, and while his time with Yinsen was short (he was killed shortly after the suit was completed), Yinsen had an impact on Tony that turned him into a more humane and unselfish person. Escaping the terrorists and finally getting back home, Tony builds experiments and builds and Iron Suite with the help of J.A.R.V.I.S., and tests it out for flights, combat, etc. and that was the birth of Iron Man.