Jack Charles Traven was born on September 2, 1964 in Los Angeles, California. His father, Samuel Traven was an aircraft mechanic. His mother, Patricia Traven, was a costume designer. Jack grew up in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of northeast Los Angeles in the San Rafael Hills. After graduating from Eagle Rock High School in 1982, he enlisted in the United States Army. Jack decided to become an explosive ordnance disposal specialist.

After completing basic combat training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina, he went on to advanced individual training at the Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal in Indian Head, Maryland. Jack was then assigned as an EOD specialist to the 6th Ordnance Detachment at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. He left the U.S. Army after four years of service in 1986 and then returned to Los Angeles, where he applied to join the Los Angeles Police Department.

After completing the entire application process, Jack went on to the LAPD Academy. Upon graduating from the Police Academy in 1987, he was assigned as a patrol officer to the North Hollywood Division. In 1991, Jack transferred to the Metropolitan Division. A year later, he underwent the special weapons and tactics selection and training process. Upon completion of training, Jack was assigned to the LAPD SWAT Team.

As a SWAT Team member, he was part of a unit tasked with providing an immediate response to barricaded suspects, snipers, crisis and hostage negotiations, potential suicide related situations, and other high-risk incidents. Under the command of Lieutenant Joseph "Mac" McMahon and the tutelage of fellow SWAT operator Harry Temple, Jack soon become one of the most well-regarded members of the team.

In June of 1994, he received the Los Angeles Police Medal of Valor after saving the lives of multiple passengers aboard an elevator being held hostage by an unidentified bomber. A few days later, Jack saw a city bus explode. The unidentified bomber then contacted him on his cell phone and told him that a similar bomb was rigged on another bus, and would get activated if it went over 50 miles per hour and blow up when the speed dropped below 50.

And the rest is history...


  • This character appeared in the 1994 action film Speed.
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