Howard Stark was a brilliant inventor and businessman; and the father of Tony Stark. He founded Stark Industries and 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 Captain America's shield. 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 founded S.H.I.E.L.D. along with Nick Fury. Eventually, Howard would push Tony away, but he did care for his son and had high hopes that Tony would change the world. Howard and Maria were killed in a car accident. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it is revealed that HYDRA ordered the Winter Soldier to assassinate Howard Stark.