A member of the fictional Thunderfoot clan, T. Hawk's homeland was taken over thirty years prior to the events of the game by M. Bison (Vega in Japan), who also murdered his father, Arroyo Hawk. T. Hawk enters the tournament to reclaim his homeland from Bison.
During the development of Super Street Fighter II, T. Hawk was originally named "Geronimo", a name which was changed after it was suggested by an American staff member that the name Geronimo might be seen as racially offensive.
T. Hawk, since his introduction, has been billed from Mexico. This was because there were already 3 characters from the United States (Ken Masters, Guile and Balrog/M. Bison). Though some Mexican players felt "cultural ignorance" from Capcom by billing a Native American from Mexico, his backstory explains he was born in the Sonora desert and resides in the Monte Albán plains.