Marvel Cinematic Universe

Howard Stark

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Howard Stark
Real Name Howard Anthony Walter Stark
Species Human
Citizenship American
Gender Male
Age 74
Date of Birth August 15, 1917[1]
Date of Death December 17, 1991
Title(s) CEO of Stark Industries
Scientist of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Affiliation Strategic Scientific Reserve
Stark Industries
Movie Iron Man
Iron Man 2
Captain America: The First Avenger
The Avengers (mentioned)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (mentioned & photograph)
Ant-Man (unreleased)
One-Shot Agent Carter
TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (mentioned)
Agent Carter
*Now is Not the End
Game Iron Man (mentioned)
Captain America: Super Soldier
Comic Captain America: First Vengeance
Captain America: The First Avenger Adaptation
Iron Man: I Am Iron Man! (mentioned)
Iron Man 2: Public Identity
Portrayed by Dominic Cooper
John Slattery
Gerard Sanders
Voiced by Liam O'Brien
Status Deceased
"Tony, you are too young to understand this right now so I thought I would put it on film for you. I built this for you, and some day you'll realize that it represents a whole lot more than just people's inventions. It represents my life's work. This is the key to the future. I'm limited by the technology of my time, but one day you'll figure this out. And when you do, you will change the world. What is, and always will be, my greatest creation... is you."
―Howard Stark's message to his son[src]

Howard Stark was an inventor and businessman. He founded Stark Industries. During World War II he worked on various government projects, including the Manhattan Project and Project Rebirth. Howard also helped the Strategic Scientific Reserve fight against HYDRA. He constructed the second shield of Captain America, and after the war he discovered the Tesseract. Later in life, Howard married a woman named Maria and had a son, Tony. He also co-developed the Arc Reactor with defected Soviet scientist Anton Vanko. Howard was also one of the founding members of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Eventually, Howard would push Tony away, but did care for his son and had high hopes that Tony would change the world.


Early LifeEdit

Howard Stark was born on Wednesday, August 15, 1917 in Richford, New York. He was an eccentric industrial genius, inventor, and businessman. He met Dr. Abraham Erskine in Geneva, Switzerland, in May 1934.

World War IIEdit

Stretegic Scientific ReserveEdit

Stark Phillips expo

Howard Stark and Colonel Chester Phillips.

"My father helped defeat Nazis. He worked on the Manhattan Project."
Tony Stark[src]

In 1939, Howard Stark launched Stark Industries. A year later, at Ciro's, Los Angeles, California, Howard began a demonstration which would showcase Vibranium, a metal discovered by Stark Industries researchers in Africa. Later, Howard met with Colonel Chester Phillips after being attacked by HYDRA assassins. He agreed to join Phillip's newly created Strategic Scientific Reserve.[2]

He participated in the rescue operation where the SSR agent Peggy Carter saved Dr. Abraham Erskine from the castle of Johann Schmidt, the head of Hitler's special weapons division HYDRA.[3]

Under Stark's guidance, his company began producing planes for the American war effort following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. His innovations later earned him a spot working on the Manhattan Project.[4]

In 1943, Howard Stark was at the Modern Marvels of Tomorrow exhibition, demonstrating new technology that could allow cars to hover. Secretly, however, Stark was working with the Allies in order to help in World War II, performing multiple experiments for them and working as their weapons specialist.[5]

Project RebirthEdit

Howard was instrumental for "Project Rebirth", the project of the SSR that Steve Rogers under goes in order become U.S. Army's first super soldier. Howard built a machine that used up half of the power in Brooklyn to douse Rogers with Vita-Rays after receiving the Super Soldier Serum from Dr. Abraham Erskine. The process successfully transformed scrawny Steve Rogers into the muscular Captain America.

Howard Stark and Steve Rogers

Howard Stark and Captain Steve Rogers

Steve Rogers was then used as propaganda and traveled to help spread encouragement and hope. Shortly before one of his performances in Italy, many soldiers were captured by the enemy. He convinced Howard to fly him to the HYDRA factory in Austria, where he helped all the soldiers escape. Howard later supplied Steve Rogers with a Vibranium shield and his costume.[5]

Losing Captain AmericaEdit

"HYDRA's secret weapon."
"Howard Stark fished that out of the ocean when he was looking for you. He thought what we think, the Tesseract could be the key to unlimited sustainable energy. That's something the world sorely needs.
Steve Rogers and Nick Fury[src]
In May 1945, Captain America crashed the Valkyrie in the ocean with the Tesseract. Howard refused to abandon his friend, and charted multiple expeditions out the ocean to search the sea for him. Though they failed in their search, they did discover the Tesseract, laying on the floor of the ocean after falling out of the Valkyrie during the crash. He attempted to figure out how the Tesseract worked, but had less than helpful results.[5]

After the disappearance of Captain America, Howard Stark joined the Manhattan Project and helped the Allied scientists build the first atomic bomb. The new weapon was used against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which forced the Japanese militarist government to surrender, effectively ending World War II.[6]

Working with Peggy CarterEdit

This section requires expansion

Later, in 1945, Peggy Carter led a team including Dum Dum Dugan and Jim Morita to the HYDRA Research Facility Number 4, where Werner Reinhardt and his soldiers were arrested. The objects confiscated there, including the Obelisk, were sent to Stark to be studied. While there, Carter felt that an organization would be needed during peace time to safe guard people against dangerous technology and to monitor people like Howard Stark.[7]

Post-War LifeEdit

In 1946, Agent John Flynn disciplined Peggy Carter for her insubordination in the 'Zodiac' case until the phone rang. Stark informed the mission was more a notch in Carter’s belt than a feather in her cap and informed Flynn that Carter was to run S.H.I.E.L.D. with him, and that Flynn was to inform Carter and ‘let her know you’re honored to bring her the news’. Carter rebuked his offer to carry her things out of the office. Afterwards, Stark sat by a swimming pool wearing a robe later worn by his son Tony. Next to him was Dum Dum Dugan. They discussed bikinis – Dum Dum asked Howard if he invented them and he said no, it was the French.[8]


Howard talks to his son

In 1954, Howard created the Stark Expo, a world wide technology fair where the world's new technology would be presented to show a bright future for mankind.[9]

He continued developing weapons for the United States Armed Forces during the Cold War. He met several American presidents, including Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon.[4]

He also co-developed the Arc Reactor with defected Soviet scientist Anton Vanko. Though the power of the arc reactor was immense, Howard saw it as the stepping stone to create a new, stable element that would render nuclear power obsolete. However, Anton saw the arc reactor as a way to get rich and when Howard found out, he had Anton deported.[10]After that, he took Obadiah Stane as a partner.[6]


Howard's video message to his son

At that time, he married a woman named Maria with whom he had a son, Tony. Howard rarely showed his son any love. However, deep down, he cared about his son.[10]

Howard was limited by the technology of his time and could not finish the new element, so he embedded the atomic structure of the new element in the 1974 Stark Expo model, and a message to Tony in one of his old home movies, stating that he had high hopes that Tony could figure it out with the current technology and change the world. Howard says that Tony is and always will be his greatest creation.[9]

Death and LegacyEdit

"I never got to say goodbye to my father. There's questions I would've asked him. I would've asked him how he felt about what his company did, if he was conflicted, if he ever had doubts. Or maybe he was every inch of man we remember from the newsreels."
―Tony Stark[src]
Howard Stark 1

Howard Stark a few months before his death.

At some point, Stark became an obstacle to HYDRA's (who had infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D.) plans. Howard and Maria Stark were killed in an automobile "accident" secretly arranged by HYDRA on Long Island in 1991.[11] Tony Stark inherited Stark Industries becoming, at age 21, the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company.[6]

After watching the 1974 message video and examining the Expo model, Tony discovered the new element, noting that his father was still teaching him even after being dead for over two decades.

The new element was the key to a safer and more powerful Arc Reactor, which Tony needed to power the electromagnet protecting his heart without poisoning his blood. Creating a miniature Particle Accelerator in his basement lab, Tony was able to synthesize the new element, upgrade the design of the Arc Reactor to clean his blood, and create the Mark VI armor.[9]






Behind the ScenesEdit


2071 the-avengers-prev
The Marvel Cinematic Universe wiki has a collection of images and media related to Howard Stark.
Preceded by:
CEO of Stark Industries
Howard Stark
Succeeded by:
Tony Stark

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