Tim Drake is the son of Jack and Janet Drake, coming from the same social class as Bruce Wayne. When he was a young child, he visited the circus for the first time with his parents. The Drakes asked the Flying Graysons for a photo together, resulting in a momentary bond between d**k Grayson and Tim Drake as they met for the first time.
After reaching the age of nine, Drake deduces the identities of Batman and Robin as Bruce Wayne and d**k Grayson after witnessing a gymnastic move by Robin that Grayson displayed while performing with the Flying Graysons. Noting that Batman has grown reckless and violent following the death of second Robin Jason Todd, who was murdered by the Joker, Drake decided to intervene and Batman eventually enlisted him as the third Robin after the death of his mother and crippling of his father. Jack Drake also appeared in Identity Crisis. When Jean Loring sent him a gun he used it in self-defense and killed Captain Boomerang, but at the last second, Captain Boomerang threw a boomerang that killed Jack Drake. As a result Tim became an orphan, continuing the long held tradition that Robin is an orphan.
Before joining Batman as the new Robin, Tim Drake was given a modern redesign of the Robin costume and sent to train abroad with numerous masters. When Bruce Wayne retires after Knightfall, Robin goes solo to defend Gotham. Robin would eventually go on to co-star with other teenaged superheros in Young Justice and Teen Titans. He also made guest appearances in other DC comic books such as Nightwing and Azrael.
Following the deaths of his father in Identity Crisis (2004), his girlfriend Stephanie Brown in Batman: War Games (2004–2005) and his best friend Superboy (Kon-El) in Infinite Crisis (2005–2006), Drake was relocated to Blüdhaven for a period of time in order to escape the "ghosts" of Gotham City and to stay close to his stepmother Dana Winters who was admitted into a Blüdhaven clinic after going into psychological shock over Jack Drake's murder at the hands of Captain Boomerang, was given another redesign of the Robin costume in the colors of Superboy's costume and was formally adopted by Bruce Wayne as his son.
After Batman's apparent death in Batman R.I.P. and Final Crisis, Bruce Wayne's biological son Damian Wayne takes up the Robin identity while Tim Drake, believing that his mentor is still alive, assumes the identity of Red Robin and leaves Gotham City to go on a worldwide search for Bruce Wayne.