Dick is a former member of the Flying Graysons acrobatic family in Haley's Circus. Dick and his parents performed nightly with their death defying high wire acts. When the circus came to Gotham City, the gangster, Tony Zucco tried to extort protection money out of the owner, but he refused to cooperate. In retaliation, Zucco sabotaged their high-wire trapeze act, staging an "accident" that ended in the death of Dick's parents. Bruce Wayne, who helped to get the circus to town, was in the audience and witnessed these events unfold. Wayne arranged with Commissioner Gordon of the Police Department to become the young boy's legal guardian. However, in the rather large and empty Wayne Manor, Dick became more and more detached. Alfred Pennyworth brought this to Wayne's attention, who was in his fledgling years as Batman, and had little time to spend with Dick. Eventually, Dick went out on his own and tracked down Zucco but was caught. Batman saved Dick and took him back to the Batcave, where he revealed his secret to Dick.
After personally training Grayson, Wayne allowed him to become his partner, Robin. Dick apparently worked with Batman consistently well into his college years. Thereafter, he became Batman's semi-regular partner continuing to work with Batman on a limited basis but, also dividing his time between crimefighting and college. Nine years after his parent's deaths, Tony Zucco resurfaced in Gotham City, putting Robin to the test. Batman forbade Robin from going after him. Robin promptly disobeyed and tracked Zucco on his own. He finally found Zucco, but, Robin ultimately refused to kill Zucco and turned him over to the authorities. While Dick had thought that Bruce was simply cold hearted; Bruce got surprisingly emotional and he admitted that he didn't want Robin going after Zucco for fear of Robin being hurt or killed as a result. However, this would not be the last time Batman and Robin disagreed with each other. After graduating Gotham State University with highest honors, Grayson decided it was time for a change. A trust fund set up by the circus would keep him afloat indefinitely. The last straw was Grayson discovering that Wayne knew Barbara Gordon, his girlfriend, was Batgirl, and never told him. Grayson relinquished the mantle of Robin forever.
After graduating from college, Dick had a falling out with Batman over the tactics he used. He consequently left Gotham City and traveled the globe from studying various martial arts and crime fighting techniques. Around this time, he also gained access to a sizable insurance settlement which allowed him to be self sufficient. After a few years of world traveling and training, he returned to Gotham City. He rejoined Batman's campaign as Nightwing, but his relationships with Batman and Batgirl became somewhat strained. Barbara and Dick no longer shared an intimate relationship as they had in college. However, it is suggested that Barbara still had some feelings for him. In spite of this, he continued to work semi-regularly with Batman's crime fighting team. For example, worked with Batman to trick Catwoman into revealing the location of a stolen gem. Along with Batman, Nightwing planned a clever ruse to make Catwoman show her hand. Nightwing let Catwoman get close to him so the pair could "team up." Nightwing resisted Batman's advice telling him to leave him alone; all in front of Catwoman. The Bat-Team played their parts well; even expressing disdain at Catwoman's attempts to seduce Nightwing. He also helped get to the bottom of the mystery behind the Joker's fortune.
As Nightwing, Grayson established himself as an equal to Batman. He eventually partly reconciled with his former mentor after an experience with the second Robin, and worked on the Bat-Team for a while longer.
However, Grayson eventually left Gotham to establish himself in the city of Blüdhaven. Nightwing was active into late age protecting his new city.
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