Roderick Kingsley began his career as a fashion designer with ambitions of power. Fate seemed to conspire in his favor, as a small-time hood discovered one of the lairs belonging to the Green Goblin, and brought Kingsley to the lair. Kingsley cleaned out the lair and killed the hood. He then altered the costume and began to understand Norman Osborn's obsession with his double life. Kingsley declared himself the Hobgoblin, and went on to become one of New York City's most feared super-villains.
The Hobgoblin then began raiding as many of Osborn's old lairs as he could find, taking his weapons, and while doing this he had a run in with Spider-Man?. The Hobgoblin barely escaped; he wondered how Osborn was able to fight Spider-Man and soon learned the secrets of the Goblin Formula. He then brainwashed Lefty Donovan into acting as a stand-in and testing the formula on him. He was beaten and eliminated before he could reveal Kingsley's identity. Afterwards, the Hobgoblin used the formula himself and altered it so he could keep his sanity.
Using Osborn's journals, he began his plans to expand his power, first by blackmailing many of New York's elite, including J. Jonah Jameson (with evidence implicating him in the creation of the Scorpion) and Harry Osborn (with evidence of his father being the Green Goblin). He gathered them all at a local club and used his twin brother Daniel to act as his own stand-in (giving Kingsley the perfect alibi), but Spider-Man showed up and fought him to a stand-still, and the Hobgoblin fled when he realized the Kingpin was also a member (as he was not powerful enough to take on the Kingpin). As he fled, Spider-Man placed a tracer on his jet-glider and followed him to his hideout, and attempted to finally take him down. The Hobgoblin seemingly perished in the Hudson River and all Spider-Man found was his ruined mask.
But Kingsley survived and made his way back to his lair, soon becoming aware he was being followed by Ned Leeds. He ambushed Leeds (who never saw his face) and interrogated him, learning that Jameson put Leeds on the case of discovering the Hobgoblin's true identity. He also learned of another story Leeds was working on, conspiring with Richard Fisk to bring down the Kingpin, and the Hobgoblin decided to use this as the perfect vehicle to move in on the Kingpin himself. He also gained something else, a new stand-in. As his brother was his stand-in for his public identity, Kingsley brainwashed Leeds and used him as a stand-in for the Hobgoblin. He sent Leeds to Fisk and the two planned their overthrow of the Kingpin. Whenever the Hobgoblin needed to flex his muscles, Kingsley would step in. Along the way, he even framed Flash Thompson for being the Hobgoblin.
But Leeds was growing harder to control, and the gang war was turning out to be a disaster. He needed to get out of his life as a costumed criminal, and began to spread word through the underworld that Leeds was the Hobgoblin. Sure enough, mercenary Jason Macendale discovered this and hired the Foreigner to kill Leeds so Macendale could assume his identity. The plan succeeded and Macendale became the Hobgoblin while Kingsley retired.
Several years later, during Macendale's trial, he publically revealed that Leeds was the original Hobgoblin. Fearing an investigation that would lead to him, Kingsley once again took up the identity of the Hobgoblin and killed Macendale in his cell, saying Macendale was an embarassment. He then began his corporate takeover of Oscorp, assassinating all would-be competitors.
The Hobgoblin Unmasked.
In an attempt to clear her husband's name, Betty Brant went on TV and claimed to have found old journals of her husband (Ned Leeds). The Hobgoblin showed up to capture her, fearing what was in them, and as his captive, allowed himself to be interviewed by her, which was both a ploy to give Spider-Man enough time to find her, and tape-record his own confession clearing Leeds' name. When it became clear there were no journals, the Hobgoblin prepared to kill her, just as Daniel Kingsley (wearing a wig to look like his brother) burst in, no longer wanting to be a part of this, pointing a gun but unable to pull the trigger. Spider-Man arrived (tracking the tracer in Betty's tape-recorder) and fought the Hobgoblin, unmasking him as Roderick Kingsley and finally after all these years learning the truth. Kingsley was arrested and taken into custody.
Months later, while awaiting trouble, Kingsley declared that he had journals belonging to the, now returned and exonerated, Norman Osborn and was willing to trade them to the DA for a pardon. He lied but wanted to draw Osborn out, and sure enough the Green Goblin arrived and "kidnapped" Kingsley. Kingsley said his brother Daniel had the journal and agreed to turn it over in exchange for going on his way. He suited up as the Hobgoblin and kidnapped his brother from police custody. He also captured Spider-Man, allowing Osborn the honor of unmasking him. Osborn was uninterested, and the Hobgoblin realized that Osborn already knew Spider-Man's identity. Norman also realized the Hobgoblin was using him, and prepared to kill him, as he had all he needed (he even managed to take over Kingley's own companies). The two fought as Spider-Man broke free and attempted to bring them both in, but failed as the warehouse exploded. Both Goblins managed to escape.
Luckily for Kingsley, Osborn did not seize his overseas accounts. He managed to escape to the Caribbean, taking up residence on an island without an extradition treaty. But even Kingsley believes that his days as the Hobgoblin are not over.