Hal Jordan’s father was an ace test pilot for Coast City based company Ferris Flight. When an experimental jet his dad was piloting begins to malfunction he flies it up in to the atmosphere to avoid the explosion from hurting any innocent civilians. This has a profound effect on Hal. He became more daring and reckless and disobeyed his mothers wish for him not to join the Air Force.
Whilst in the Air Force his mother dies from cancer and this leaves him at a stand off with his brothers. Jordan’s frustration with is family situation causes him to assault his commanding officer after he receives a dressing down for his reckless test piloting.
Subsequently he’s forced to leave the Air Force and finds a job at Ferris Air thanks to his connections with his dad’s long time friend Carl Ferris and his childhood friendship with Carol.
During a test flight Hal’s life is changed.
In space the universal police force, “The Green Lanterns” has an officer assigned to one of the 7200 space sectors in the known universe. The space sector for Earth is 2814. The Lantern for this sector Abin Sur is gravely wounded as he investigates the prophecy of the Blackest Night, an apocalyptic prophesied event.
Commandeering a space ship he crashes down on Earth.
When a Green Lantern is about to die, the Green Lantern ring searches for a replacement who is without fear and will instil justice. This is where Hal finds the damaged space craft and comes to Abin’s aid, however it’s to late and the ring chooses Hal.
After experimenting with the ring Hal goes to Oa, the homeworld of the Guardian and HQ for the Green Lantern corps. Hal trains to uses the rings energy constructs and various abilities of the ring, these abilities include flight and translation.
Hal meets Sinestro’s, the most revered Green Lantern of his time. Together they hunt down Abin Sur’s killer and Hal gains Sinestro’s respect. On the course of his duties however Hal finds that his mentor polices his own space sector by using fear, a taboo of the Green Latnern corps.
Hal eventually defeats Sinestro and he is cast out of Green Lantern corps. Sinestro goes on to form his own corps using yellow energy (a weakness of a Green Lantern ring) to create the Sinestro corps who instil fear to control the universe.
So there you have it, a brief history of The Green Lantern.