Born on April 1, 1980 in Knoxville, Tennessee, Randal "Randy" Keith Orton is the son of wrestler "Cowboy" Bob Orton and his wife, Elaine. From the beginning, his father warned him of the dangers of wrestling, and tried to convince him to stay away from the industry, saying that wrestling required one to be away from his family. Upon graduating high school, Orton enlisted with the U.S. Marine Corps, but was dishonorably discharged after a year. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Private First Class Orton was tried and convicted under a special court-martial, and was put into a military prison for 38 days.
In 2000, Orton made his professional wrestling debut in the Mid-Missouri Wrestling Association-Southern Illinois Conference Wrestling, where he was trained by wrestlers Ron Powers, Gary Jackson, Mark Bland, Jeremy Lightfoot, Phil E. Blunt and promoter Tony Costa as well as his father.
A year later, Orton signed with WWE and was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling to train and eventually gain the OVW Hardcore Champion title twice in 2001. He debuted a year later in April's Smackdown, where he was portrayed as a narcissistic, self-centered, and highly-disrespectful heel. Shortly thereafter, he was drafted into the Raw brand, where he gained more fans.
In December 2003, Orton fought and defeated Rob Van Dam for the WWE Intercontinental Championship at Armageddon 2003. He also accepted Mick Foley's challenge in which Orton's Intercontinental Championship title was on the line. However, Orton successfully defended his title and won the fight.
Returning to Smackdown on June 16, Orton fought with The Undertaken, who won over him during the SummerSlam 2005. At No Mercy 2005, Orton got back at The Undertaker with the help of his father.
Orton became part of 2006 Royal Rumble but was eliminated by Rey Mysterio, with whom he defeated at No Way Out. By April, WWE stated that Orton was suspended for 60 days for unprofessional conduct. However, he admitted in July that his suspension was due to the fact that he smoked marijuana backstage. While away, he spent a month at an anger management clinic.
Orton returned to form the super alliance Team Rated-RKO with Edge before being awarded the WWE Title by Vince McMahon after an injured John Cena was forced to relinquish it. Orton lost the title to Triple H moments later before winning it back later that same night. Orton retained the title at Wrestlemania XXIV in a triple threat match with John Cena and Triple H. Orton dropped the title back to Triple H a month later at Backlash.
Orton formed an organization called The Legacy, exclusively leading second-generation villains including Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase Jr., Sim Snuka and Manu. Orton won the 2009 Royal Rumble with help from his friends and went on to challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania XXV.
(Photo courtesy of WWE)