Det. Capt. Steven McGarrett was the head of the state police Task Force, Five-0 in Hawaii.
McGarrett relocated to Hawaii in 1961 (“Murder is a Taxing Affair”). At some time prior to 1968, Governor Paul Jameson hired McGarrett to command Hawaii Five-O, the state police (“Goodnight, Baby, Time to Die!”), on the recommendation of Commander Walter Stuart, a Navy Intelligence prosecutor who would later serve as Hawaii’s attorney general (“Yesterday Died, and Tomorrow Won’t Be Born”). Jameson considered this appointment as one of the smartest decisions he had ever made in office (“Samurai”). When McGarrett left Navy Intelligence, his old friend Ron Nicholson filled his post (“FOB Honolulu”).
Steve McGarrett's only living family are his sister Mary Ann, a brother-in-law Tom & infant nephew Tommy, all living in California (Once Upon A Time, Part I).
McGarrett’s reputation as a no-nonsense, dedicated, and independent-minded investigator followed him to the Five-O offices (“Cocoon”). His successes earned him many enemies, the greatest of which was unquestionably Wo Fat, the commander of Red Chinese Intelligence in the Pacific Theater. McGarrett clashed with Wo Fat many times (“Cocoon”, “Forty Feet High and it Kills”, and others), never achieving a definitive victory until 1979, when he posed as theoretical physicist Dr. Elton Raintree to get close to his arch-enemy (“Woe to Wo Fat”).
On six separate occasions, McGarrett’s enemies tried to frame him for crimes he did not commit. The most successful of these endeavors, engineered by the Vashon family, saw McGarrett convicted of second-degree murder, although this conviction was set aside once the Vashon scheme was exposed (“V for Vashon: The Patriarch”). McGarrett was also falsely implicated for bribery (“The 90-Second War”), racketeering (“Small Potatoes”), grand theft art (“Wooden Model of a Rat”), murder (“Man in a Steel Frame”), and, along with the entire Five-O team, extortion (“Welcome to our Branch Office”), but none of these frame jobs resulted in a conviction.
During his career McGarrett has been kidnapped; tortured; blinded; shot at; blown up; survived an airplane crash.