Leland "Lee" Owlsley Jr. is the son of Leland Owlsley Sr. His father was originally hired by Wilson Fisk to control his money inputs and outputs, ensuring the authorities could not uncover their work. However, when Leland Sr. tried to assassinate Vanessa Marianna and blackmail Fisk out of half his money, the Kingpin angrily murdered his former partner by throwing him down an elevator shaft. Thus, Lee swore revenge for his father's death, and arrived in Hell's Kitchen to make a name for himself as a rising crime lord with Fisk's imprisonment.
Lee was born with Osteogenesis imperfecta, which caused his bones to become very fragile and prone to fracture, confining him to a wheelchair for most of his life. To solve his disability problem, Lee tricked professional costumer Melvin Potter into designing for him a specialized armored suit and leg-braces to protect his bones from physical contact and allow him to walk normally. He then acquired the tech schematics for the Exo-7 Falcon winged jet-pack, a high-tech optical armored head-seat resembling an owl's head, and a pair of adamantium clawed gauntlets from a black-market dealer at Oscorp Industries, applying them to his armored suit to become the super-criminal crime lord, the Owl.