PARENTS: Deceased. Mother - housewife. Father - army lieutenant. Killed in a car accident when Arthur was eight.
CHILDHOOD: Until the age of eight, relatively unremarkable. At eight years old, his parents were killed in a car accident just outside Chicago, which led to Arthur spending the rest of his formative years in the foster care system, shuffled from house to house on a pretty regular basis.
He was an only child, and smart, so he learned very fast to keep his head down and his mouth shut, for the most part. He learned to observe the world around him, and gather as much information as he could before jumping into a situation. He was very self-contained, preferring the companionship of books and study materials to other kids who would likely shun him anyway.
Ostensibly, he was a foster-care success story. Despite the circumstances, or maybe because of them, he managed to stay out of trouble, even into adolescence. He got good grades, and was smart enough to apply to the U.S. Marine Corps officer program.
EDUCATION: Arthur was accepted into the USMC officer program, which paid for his four-year college degree - he attended Duke University, and obtained his degree in Economics, graduating suma cum laude. After officer school, he received his commission as a second lieutenant.
CAREER: Arthur spent the better part of two years doing primarily intelligence work as an officer in the Marines, before being recruited to help oversee a new, top-secret training program, utilizing some new technology - dreamsharing.
Arthur was trained in the operation and maintenance of the PASIV device, and became heavily involved in the development of the program for the Marines. That's how he met Cobb.
Dom Cobb had been contracted to help design training simulation environments for the dreamers, and Arthur was assigned to oversee the work that Cobb was doing. The two men, despite disparate personalities, hit it off, and Dom started showing Arthur some of the things that could be done with the dreamsharing tech that no one in the Marines would ever consider. Arthur liked what he saw.
So, almost four years into his service, Arthur engineered an 'accident' - one which allowed him to receive an honorable discharge from the Marines. He immediately went to work in the employ of Dom (and Mal) Cobb - mostly as a kind of research assistant, as they delved into the world of the human subconscious.
At that time, they often skirted the bounds of legality, and sometimes they even crossed them, taking on the occasional extraction job because they involved very large pay days, but for the most part what they were doing was 'pure creation' - creation for its own sake, or for the sake of furthering academic knowledge of the dreamsharing and what it could do.
Until Mal Cobb killed herself, and Dom found himself suspected of murdering his wife. At which point, Arthur followed his business partner underground. He didn't even consider another path.