Daniel Jackson was born in Egypt to a world-renowned pair of archaeologists, Melburn and Claire Jackson. A near-fatal accident in the New York Museum of Art drove him away from the family business, and at age 18 he enlisted in the Egyptian Army to serve his required three years as an Egyptian citizen. At the end of those three years, he decided to sign on for further active duty and become career military.
In 1996, Daniel was promoted to Colonel and loaned to the Blue Book Project in the United States in order to monitor American research of a mysterious Egyptian artifact. This artifact was the Stargate, and once a connection with Abydos was established, Colonel Jackson and Colonel Jack O'Neill joint-led an exploration team to make contact with the locals. The two colonels resented each other's presence, and clashed constantly during the mission. Daniel eventually slayed Ra with a staff weapon, which Ra had intended him to use to kill O'Neill and their men, earning him grudging respect from the other man. Jackson was offered a local girl named Sha'uri as a gift, but declined to marry her, inadvertantly causing her to be disgraced. To compensate for his cultural faux pas, he appointed Sha'uri as liason between Abydos and Earth, and established a flow of trade between the two planets, including information such as a list of Stargate addresses.
Colonel O'Neill was given command of SG-1, consisting of Major Kawalsky, Major Feretti, and Captain Freeman, who were the only other survivors of the first mission. Daniel was given command of SG-2, consisting of Major Asim Fahd, Major Derrik Reynolds, and Captain Samantha Carter. Very few civilians were accepted into the SGC, and technological acquisitions were always mission priorities. Though they heard about them often, the SGC rarely encountered sarcophagi and it was extremely uncommon for SGC personnel to come back from death, though it did happen from time to time.
In 2002, O'Neill was promoted to General and became leader of the SGC. Around this time, the forces of Earth focused on annihilating the System Lords. Rumors circulated of a more powerful Goa'uld named Anubis, but he never surfaced to confront them. Within two years, the Goa'uld as a species were largely wiped out as well as their Jaffa servants.
In 2004, the location of Atlantis was discovered, and Daniel was promoted to General in order to lead the expedition. Mostly cut off from Earth, the Atlantis team was forced to rely on nearby planets for supplies, leading to their discovery by the Wraith. While the Wraith were largely dormant, several moderately-sized factions took it upon themselves to fight the Lantean humans, unwilling to see their food source advance technologically yet again. Several years into the war, a strange anomaly began pulling energy out of their universe and into a neighboring reality. Daniel appointed Dr. Rodney "Rod" McKay, one of the few civilians on base, to travel through the anomaly and shut it down (as seen in the Atlantis episode "McKay and Mrs. Miller"). Several weeks after this event, a Wraith was captured alive offworld, and General Jackson intended to interrogate it personally. Upon entering the wormhole, however, he found himself pulled away...
Daniel's first language is Egyptian Arabic. However, he also speaks English, German, Latin, and is partially fluent in Ancient Egyptian.
Daniel spent some time in Chicago (beyondtherift) as a member of Torchwood. Traveling through the rift has left him with the ability to see through solid objects and manipulate gravitational fields.
kneelb4yourgod belongs to this alternate canon, and Daniel is his host.
Daniel Jackson belongs to MGM Studios, and has been used as a basis for an alternate universe version of the character.