Happy Birthday: Jay Garrick
Born in Hibbardsville, Kansas, in the early 1920s, Jason Peter “Jay” Garrick had an uneventful childhood. It wasn’t until he went to Keystone City for college, studying chemistry and physics at Midwestern University, that fate singled him out for greater things.
Garrick was a junior in 1940 and working on an experiment to purify hard water and remove all radiation when a test tube dropped. The fumes knocked Garrick out and breathing the vapors all night somehow changed him, granting him the ability to run at super-speed (later evidence suggests Garrick always had this latent ability and the vapors simply activated it).
At first, he used his new powers for personal gain, becoming a college football star, but his integrity would not let him walk away from those in trouble, so Garrick donned a stylized winged helmet and a red shirt with a lightning bolt and began to fight crime as The Flash.
Garrick joined the Justice Society of America and the All-Star Squadron and became a well-known and well-respected crimefighter. Though he briefly retired and focused on his scientific career in the 1950s, Garrick could not stay away, and returned to heroics in 1961, just in time to meet his Earth-One counterpart, Barry Allen.
He has been active ever since, and is once again a key member of the Justice Society of America. Most younger heroes consider Garrick the elder statesman of superheroes, and all of them admire and respect him and appreciate his calm manner and his sage advice just as much as his flying fists and speedy feet.