Born Jonathan Murdock, very little is known about Jack Murdock's early life. He was married to Maggie Murdock, who divorced him to join a convent after the birth of their son, Matthew Murdock. Unsatisfied with his achievements in life, Jack encouraged Matt to study and "make something of himself". Despite the fact that Jack was a successful professional boxer, he raised Matt to believe that pacifism, and not violence, was the best way to lead his life. Regardless, on more than one occasion Jack resorted to violence himself after becoming enraged at Matt's tendency to get into fights at school.
After the accident which blinded Matt (and enhanced his other senses), Jack approached his son's development with renewed vigor and vowed to help him whenever possible. Matt eventually graduated college and enrolled at Columbia to study law. Jack, meanwhile, suffered financially and had resorted to fighting in illegal matches as the "Red Devil" for money. But again, he realized that he was not leading a good example, and vowed to stop, which he eventually did. Shortly after this, Roscoe Sweeney, the first "Fixer", approached Jack to fight for him. Murdock agreed, but was unaware that Sweeney had fixed the fights so that he would win them. After a streak of victories, Sweeney proposed that Jack throw a fight against Rocky Davis, an up and coming fighter. Jack refused; knowing that Matt was going to be at the fight. True to his word, Jack won the fight, and Sweeney arranged for his murder. As Jack left the building, he was brutally beaten to death by one of Sweeney's men.
Jack Murdock was created by Stan Lee and first appeared in Daredevil #1 in 1964. Jack's death occurred in the same issue.
In Other Media
Spider-Man: The Animated Series
Jack Murdock is seen in flashbacks as Daredevil goes through his origin story. This version of Jack is very close to the way he was portrayed in Man Without Fear.
Jack Murdock appears in flashbacks, portrayed by John Patrick Hayden. Like his comic counterpart, he was an over the hill boxer who was being paid to take a dive during fights, but got his shot at the big time during a bout against Carl "Crusher" Creel (who would later appear in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the Absorbing Man). Though Roscoe Sweeney paid Jack to throw the fight, Jack chose to make a legitimate effort to win in order to gain respect from his son. After betting on himself and making sure that all of the winnings would go to Matt to pay for his school, he defeated Creel in a surprise victory. He was shot and killed almost immediately after, with Matt finding his body in an alley, surrounded by police officers.
Jack Murdock briefly appears in the early scenes of the live-action movie, portrayed by David Keith. In the film, his nickname is changed to "The Devil", which serves to partially inspire Matt's later codename as Daredevil.