Ken grew up in Smallville, Kansas. He was a jock at school and was on the football team. He regularly picked on Clark Kent while he was young. One day as Clark was sitting in a truck by a workshop waiting for his father, Jonathan, reading a book on Plato, Ken and a group of his friends yanked Clark out of the truck and threw him to the ground into a chain link fence. They began threatening and teasing him. However, upon witnessing it, Jonathan approached and scared Ken and his friends off. Clark was then helped up by his now-friend, Pete Ross.