|Location:||New York City, New York|
|Born:||August 15th, 1917 |
|Died:||December 17th, 1991|
|First:||Iron Man 2 (2010)|
Howard Stark is a fictional businessman and scientist and a supporting character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe multimedia franchise. The character was first referenced as early as Iron Man in 2008, but didn't make his first actual appearance until Iron Man 2 in 2010. The first actor to portray Howard Stark was John Slattery.
A younger version of Howard Stark played a much larger role in the World War II-era film Captain America: The First Avenger. Here he was played by actor Dominic Cooper. Cooper reprised the role of Howard for a brief cameo role in the mini-movie "Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter", but took on a larger role in the Agent Carter miniseries event. Stark appeared in only three episodes of the series, but his presence had a lingering effect on all of the plotlines throughout the show.
Howard Stark was an American industrialist and the founder of Stark Industries. As a manufacturer of hi-tech weaponry and designs, Stark's biggest contractor was the United States government. Because of his connections to both the government and the military, Stark served as a civilian consultant for the Strategic Scientific Reserve. He was involved in Project Rebirth, which was a top-secret experiment that turned scrawny Steve Rogers into a veritable powerhouse, who then went on to become the patriotic hero of World War II, Captain America. During the war, Howard Stark also developed a close relationship with SSR agent Peggy Carter. In 1945, when Steve Rogers went missing in action after defeating the Red Skull, Howard Stark led a team to find him. Though they failed to recover Captain America, they did find the alien Tesseract which Nazi HYDRA agents had been using to fuel their weaponry.  Howard Stark also secretly held onto a sample of Steve Rogers' blood, in the hopes that one day he might be able to replicate the Super Soldier Serum process.
In 1946, Howard Stark's reputation suffered a colossal blow when agents of Leviathan framed him for treason. The story had begun circulating throughout the intelligence community that Stark had been selling weapons technology to foreign powers. Stark went into hiding, calling upon only a handful of people that he believed he could trust. One of which was his faithful family butler, Edwin Jarvis. The other was Peggy Carter. Stark convinced Jarvis and Carter to secretly investigate these false claims outside the purview of the Strategic Scientific Reserve. After a great deal of hardship and danger, Agent Carter and Edwin Jarvis were able to clear Stark's name. Soon after, Howard Stark became one of the founding members of S.H.I.E.L.D., which evolved out of the SSR. After learning about Peggy Carter's clan destine operation against agents of the Zodiac cartel, Howard Stark placed her in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D. as its first director.
As the years went on, Howard Stark continued to push the boundaries of scientific achievement. He hosted the Stark Expo, which was a year-long event held only every few years. Howard married a woman named Maria, and they had a son named Anthony. Although Howard would eventually come to see Tony as his greatest achievement, his most significant scientific accomplishment was still years away.
In the mid-1970s, Howard Stark began developing the Arc reactor, which would have provided limitless clean energy on a global scale. However, he was limited by the technology of his era, and knew that he would never be able to realize his idea in his lifetime. He overlapped the designs for the reactor atop a map of the Stark Expo fairgrounds, trusting that one day, Tony Stark would be able to complete his work. 
On December 17th, 1991, Howard and Maria Stark died in a fatal car accident. It has been implied that agents of HYDRA, perhaps even their secret assassin, the Winter Soldier, may have been responsible for causing their deaths and staging it as an accident.  Stark's legacy lived on however, both through his company and through his son Tony, who did in fact complete the Arc reactor and eventually became the armored Avenger known as Iron Man. 
Notes & Trivia Edit
- The character of Howard Stark was created by director Jon Favreau and screenwriter Justin Theroux based on concepts originally developed by writer Archie Goodwin and artist Don Heck.
- The Marvel Universe version of Howard Stark was first seen in a flashback sequence in Iron Man, Volume 1 #28, which was published in August, 1970.
- In addition to the Arc reactor, Howard Stark is also responsible for designing an automobile with VTOL/atmospheric flight capabilities. This would later be updated as the S.H.I.E.L.D. flying car. A later evolution of Stark's design is apparent in the form of Lola, which is Phil Coulson's preferred form of travel.
- A portrait of the younger Howard Stark hangs near the Captain America display at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., along with the other Strategic Scientific Reserve pioneers, Chester Phillips and Peggy Carter.