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Hero Overview
I'm federal agent Jack Bauer. This is the longest day of my life.
~ Jack Bauer in Day 1.
I see fifteen people held hostage on a bus, and everything else goes out the window. I will do whatever it takes to save them, and I mean whatever it takes. ... Laws were written by much smarter men than me. And in the end, these laws have to be more important than the 15 people on the bus. I know that's right. In my mind, I know that's right. I just don't think my heart could ever have lived with it.
~ Jack Bauer explains why he used brutal methods for his reasons.

Jack Bauer (February 18, 1966-) is the main protagonist of the 24 series. He was a retired American serviceman and a former federal agent, who was responsible for saving multiple American citizens from potentially devastating terrorist attacks on more than one occasion.

He took a leadership role in various covert and undercover missions, and served as both Director and Director of Field Operations at CTU Los Angeles. His dedication to keeping U.S. citizens safe allowed him to thwart the terrorist acts throughout all 9 Days; but his dedication led him to make some deep personal sacrifices. Jack lost his wife in the final hour of Day 1, was forced to fake his death and live in hiding (at the cost of a stable relationship with his daughter) in the aftermath of Day 4, sacrificed his freedom for a period of nearly two years after Day 5, became temporarily infected and debilitated by the prion variant during Day 7, and ultimately lost his freedom after Day 9. He showed his willingness to sacrifice his life on multiple occasions, but each time his sacrifice ultimately proved to be unnecessary.

Following Day 8, Jack was forced to flee his country as he was wanted by both the U.S. and Russian governments for killing several Russian diplomats involved in a terrorist conspiracy in revenge for the death of his loved one. After spending four years in hiding in Eastern Europe, Jack resurfaced in London after receiving word of an assassination attempt against his former mentor, President James Heller and a possible prelude to a much more devastating attack. During the course of Day 9, Jack was given a full presidential pardon for the crimes he committed in Day 8, and for any crimes he had committed in assisting President Heller to stop the drone attacks by Margot Al-Harazi; freeing him of his fugitive status in the United States. However, he later surrendered himself to the Russians in exchange for his friend Chloe O'Brian.

He is portrayed by Kiefer Sutherland, who also portrays President Thomas Kirkham, Athos, David Breckinridge and Wayne Slater and voiced General Warren R. Monger, Big Boss and Venom Snake.

Relationships

Teri Bauer

Bauer's wife during Day 1. Sometime before, Jack and Teri were separated, with Jack living elsewhere and Teri living at their house with Kim. Both eventually reconciled and Jack moved back in. During the events of Day 1, Jack risked everything to save Teri and their daughter. When Teri revealed that she was pregnant with his second child, Jack was became extremely happy to the point of tears. While Teri managed to survive most of the day's events, she was tragically shot and killed by Nina Myers. Her death and the loss of their unborn child would haunt Jack for years, causing him to quit from CTU and go into a depression. It wasn't until the events of Day 2 that he put aside his grief and went back to work at CTU, but even then he was still affected by her loss. This eventually led him to offer Kim a job at CTU as he did not want to lose her as Teri, going so far as to warn Chase Edmunds, his partner and Kim's boyfriend at the time, that he didn't want to lose her as well. Even after he killed her murderer, Nina Myers, Jack would continue to feel responsible for Teri's death.

Kim Bauer

Jack's daughter. She had been living with her mother during their separation and when her mother was murdered, she and Jack had a very strained relationship from there on.

Anthony "Tony" Almeida

Jack's comrade prior to Day 7, where Tony became a domestic terrorist. Their relationship was rocky at first due to them having both had a history with the same woman (Nina Myers), but their bond grew stronger when it was revealed that Nina was a terrorist. Jack and Tony crossed heads frequently but in Day 4 Jack considered him the only person he could trust. Tony was killed, revived in secret, and then became a mercenary in order to kill Alan Wilson for his role in the murders of Michelle Dessler and their unborn child.

Nina Myers

A former co-worker of Jack's whom he had a relationship with during his separation from Teri. During Day 1, she was considered to be Jack's most loyal and trusted ally, even going so far as to defend him after he shot her point blank. Their relationship completely changed when she was uncovered as a mole within CTU and murdered his wife and unborn child, causing Jack to quit CTU and go into a depression. Upon seeing during Day 2, Jack became disgusted by the sight of her and made every effort to hold back his desire for revenge as Nina was the only one who could help them locate the nuclear bomb in Los Angeles. Even when she held him hostage, Jack was willing to sacrifice himself in exchange for Nina giving up the presumed location of the bomb. During Day 3, Jack made every effort to hold back his desire for revenge against Nina and tried to convince her that he was done with CTU, going so far as to accept a passionate kiss from her to keep up the ruse. He finally got his revenge as Nina attempted to escape CTU, saving his daughter before coldly executing Nina to avenge his wife's death.

Chloe O'Brian

He has had a complicated friendship with Chloe. In the beginning, Jack was prone to using Chloe to engage in unauthorized use of CTU computer resources for Jack without his superior's permission. The relationship was one-sided initially, with Jack using Chloe and demanding that Chloe risk her career on blind faith regarding Jack being right. Chloe would reluctantly follow Jack's demands and ride out the problems they would make for her with her boss when Jack's requests from her yielded the results he promised they would yield. His relationship with Chloe changed dramatically in terms of her willingness to help him during Day 4. When Andrew Paige was kidnapped by terrorists after accidentally discovering vital information regarding their schemes, Chloe turned to Jack for help. However, Jack shocked Chloe when he told her that he was willing to let her friend die rather than risk letting the terrorists know he was onto them. After several minutes of pleading and begging, Jack gave in and saved Andrew. This action led to Chloe becoming completely loyal to Jack, to the point of being willing to be fired from her job at CTU when she refused to stop aiding Jack (who, at the time, was no longer a member of CTU). Chloe walked away from her job (but not before telling her boss she was going to quit anyway) but later that day was summoned back to CTU by Michelle Dessler (who took over running CTU halfway through the day) and asked to return to work since none of the other CTU employees were as skilled as Chloe was. Jack's complete trust in Chloe led her to being one of only four people who knew Jack faked his death, and she has shown great concern for him since, passing information to Jack while in exile, and going to him first when David Palmer and Michelle Dessler were killed.

Since Jack's return on Day 6, she has helped him on several operations which would have cost her her job, including providing schematics to a suitcase nuclear bomb so Jack could hand a component over to the Chinese in exchange for Audrey Raines. In the last episode of the series on Day 8, Jack - on the run once again - asked Chloe to make sure his family was safe. He then thanked her for having covered his back all these years.

During Day 9, Chloe aided Jack once again, but after the Al-Harazis were dead and their plot thwarted, went back to Open Cell though she said it was good to work with him again. Despite this, she still retained loyalty to Jack and aided him again stopping Cheng Zhi, telling Jack that everything that had happened was her fault and she wanted to redeem herself for her mistakes. Despite Jack's reluctance, he agreed to let her help with Chloe claiming she was the only friend he had left. After Chloe was captured by the Russians, Jack willingly turned himself in to them to save her, telling her that she was his best friend and leaving Belcheck to look after her.

Audrey Raines

Jack's ex-lover, later married Mark Boudreau and killed by Cheng Zhi's man.

Renee Walker

A former special agent from the FBI Washington Field Office who later became Jack's love interest in Day 8. Initially, Renee and Jack had partnered up in Day 7, looking for Jack's old friend Tony Almeida, who had resurfaced and was now working with a terrorist organization, despite being presumed dead. She was horrified at his willingness to do whatever it was necessary to follow a lead. However, as the day progressed, she began to see the necessity behind Jack's actions and realized that the only way to bring down Alan Wilson, the main conspirator for the events of the day, would be to act as Jack would have done.

Once Renee was brought in by CTU New York to help deal with the threat of a Russian criminal gang, Red Square, she was reunited with Jack and they became lovers. She was shot at Jack's apartment by Pavel Tokarev, a sniper working for Mikhail Novakovich and Yuri Suvarov, and died in the hospital minutes later. Renee's death affected Jack deeply as they led him on a downward spiral, willing to do whatever it took to get revenge against the Russians and ultimately, made him an enemy of both the Russian and American governments.

Kate Morgan

A CIA agent stationed in London and Jack's partner during the events of 24: Live Another Day. At the start of the day, Kate was the only one who suspected that Bauer allowed himself to be captured and came close to apprehending him until the intervention of Belchek. She later became one of few people who believed that Jack had come across a plot that Margot Al-Harazi was planning on taking control of ten U.S. military drones and using them for a terrorist attack in the city. While Jack was initially reluctant to trust her, she later convinced him that she really did believe him and that she would continue his work while he was in custody. Impressed by her skills and dedication, Jack later requested her as his partner when he was granted provisional status as an agent.

Abilities

Due to his special forces training from his twelve-year career in the Army, Jack Bauer was described as a brave and daring field operative prior to his enlistment to the Central Intelligence Agency and its specialized program, Counter Terrorist Unit.

Apart from his Green Berets and Delta Force training, Jack received Airborne, Air Assault and Ranger training. In his law enforcement career, Jack had received SWAT training. Jack harbors a unique range of abilities that assist him in his daily life.

  • Aviation - Jack is trained in flying planes (Season 2) and helicopters on multiple occasions during his career.
  • Explosives - Jack is adept to making and using explosives when working on the field with his colleagues.
  • Multilingual - In addition to his native English, Jack is fluent in Russian and German, and capable of speaking Spanish and Arabic, as well as recognizing some Serbian.
  • Weapons - Jack has also shown to be highly proficient in utilizing multiple firearms, typically handguns.
  • Hand To Hand Combat - Jack is able to fight his enemies unarmed from his Army days.
  • Resistance to Interrogation - Jack has demonstrated his ability to resist interrogation by his old enemy, Cheng Zhi, when the latter kidnapped and brought him to China.
  • Interrogation - Jack is capable of interrogating suspects using various strategies include intimidation, psychological tactics, threatening and torture.
  • Technological - Jack can handle every electronic devices that allow him to receive information from his old colleagues.
  • Stealth - Jack is trained in sneaking at his enemies from behind and grab them by surprise from his year-long career.
  • Intelligence - Jack can gather intelligence on the enemy and report them to his old colleagues under CTU Field Operations division in which he used to command them.

Awards

Jack Bauer received some awards from his time in the United States Army. His awards include:

  • Silver Star
  • Purple Heart
  • Legion of Merit

Gallery

Background notes and information

Character information

  • Jack has killed 309 people on screen to date; this figure does not take into account kills made in the expanded universe, along with several hundred characters (many of whom unnamed henchmen only present for gameplay purposes) during The Game.
  • Jack has rendered 87 people unconscious on-screen.
  • The Bauer home phone number during Season 1 was 310-555-3067 and they lived on 10th.
  • During Season 1 and Season 2, Jack's primary weapon was a SIG Sauer P228 with a stainless steel slide. His weapon of choice during Seasons 3 through 8 was the Heckler & Koch USP Compact. For Season 9, his new weapon of choice is Heckler & Koch P30.
  • As seen in the premiere episode of Season 3, Jack's badge number was 9431066 and Jack's employee number was 68025638X. We also see that he is 5' 11, 170 pounds, and has green eyes.
  • Jack has used a variety of vehicles on the show. He initially owned a gold GMC Yukon (Season 1) but is normally seen driving CTU owned Ford Expeditions, in several different colors: light green (Season 2), black (Seasons 3, 5 & 6) and blue (Season 4). This is due to Ford being the primary sponsor for the show during first four seasons. During the 5th & 6th season, Toyota became a primary sponsor. This is evidenced by Jack owning a silver Toyota Tundra at the beginning of Day 5, as well as operating a dark blue CTU-owned Tundra during Day 6. By Day 8, Jack is shown driving a Chevrolet Malibu, as Chevrolet has moved into the role as the official auto sponsor of 24.
  • A card on the official Facebook page for the show notes how Bauer uses real-life fighting skills such as Hapkido and Krav Maga.
  • Jack was only officially working for the government agency combating the day's terrorists during Day 1 and Day 3. He was provisionally enrolled on all the other days.
  • In the Indian remake of 24, Jack's counterpart is Jai Singh Rathod, ATU's chief portrayed by Anil Kapoor. He is also constantly torn between his family and his country India.

Behind the scenes

  • Originally, the character's name was going to be Jack Barrett.
  • Numerous actors auditioned for the role of Jack Bauer, including 24 actors Carlos Bernard and Richard Burgi. When Sutherland was first suggested by Stephen Hopkins, Robert Cochran initially felt he was too young, and that no one would believe he had a teenage daughter. He changed his mind when he realized that Sutherland in fact did have a thirteen-year-old daughter at the time. (E! True Hollywood Story: 24)
  • Bauer is German for "Farmer".
  • It is mentioned on several occasions that Jack blew the whistle on several agents at CTU who were laundering money before Day 1. In the original draft of the pilot script, this was supposed to occur at another agency (not CTU) and Richard Walsh brings Jack in because he thought Jack's actions were courageous.
  • According to Howard Gordon, Day 8: 3:00pm–4:00pm was originally scripted to end with Jack's death.
  • With regards to Jack's actions towards the end of Season 8, Howard Gordon stated that it "was very much designed from the beginning. How it would end, however, was something that was really unknown. I saw a little bit further ahead than I generally do, and we wanted to knit Jack and Renee together, only to take them apart, and for that to have a really profound effect on Jack. That’s about as far as we knew in the broad strokes. How that was going to happen, and how it would impact Allison Taylor and Chloe — those were late-to-the-party additions that I think helped bolster that initial idea."
  • During the events of Day 1: 6:00pm–7:00pm a photograph in the Bauer home displays Jack in his army uniform during his time in the service. A closer examination reveals that Jack is actually wearing a United States Marine Corps officer's uniform. The picture itself, is of actor Kiefer Sutherland who played Lieutenant Jonathan Kendrick in the 1992 movie "A Few Good Men."

Appearances notes

  • Jack Bauer is the only character to appear in every episode of 24 (up to and including Live Another Day), and the only character to appear in the first nine seasons.
  • He has had his name featured in all but six Previously on 24 segments ever broadcast, up to and including Live Another Day. "Day 7: 4:00am-5:00am", "Day 9: 1:00pm-2:00pm", "Day 9: 5:00pm-6:00pm", "Day 9: 6:00pm-7:00pm", Day 9: 9:00pm–10:00pm and Day 9: 10:00pm–11:00am are the only ones without his name appearing on-screen.
  • He is the only character who appears in Live Another Day that was present in the pilot.
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