Terry comes from the fictitious town of Southtown (a setting for many SNK games), and is the adoptive son of Jeff Bogard. During his childhood, he witnessed the death of his father at the hands of Geese Howard. Terry chose to pursue his revenge at a later time. But unlike his brother Andy, who left Southtown to train in Japan, Terry chose to stay in his hometown, combining the skills learned from his father with abilities gained from the streets.
Many years later, the crime lord Geese Howard organized a tournament, dubbed The King of Fighters. Terry, Andy and Muay Thai Kickboxing champion Joe Higashi would enter with the purpose of facing Geese. The battle that followed would eventually see Terry defeating Geese, and for some time, it was thought that Geese perished in the battle. The next year saw Geese's half-brother Wolfgang Krauser take control of The King of Fighters, and bringing the once Southtown-only tournament onto the world stage. The finals of this new tournament would again see Terry fighting the sponsor and him ultimately defeating Krauser.
Some time later it was revealed that Geese had survived his encounter with Terry. The Bogards and friends learned of Geese's intentions to retrieve the legendary Jin scrolls, Terry once again challenged and defeated him. Afterwards, Geese fled. Terry had battled to the end of the tournament, defeating characters such as Yamazaki, until finally facing the Jin brothers. Standing now as the victor, Terry once again was the Champion. However, Geese had escaped and with the scrolls. During the next game, Real Bout Fatal Fury, Terry managed to get all the way through the tournament to Geese for one final conflict. At the end of the fight, he knocked Geese off the edge of Geese Tower, but grabbed hold of Geese's hand and tried to keep him from falling. But this was not to be, as Geese knocked Terry's hand away, plummeting to what is believed to be his permanent death. Sometime either before, or after their final conflict, Terry encountered a boy by the name of Rock Howard, Geese's son. Taking him in, he would teach him how to fight, as they traveled together around the world.