Born in La Push, Washington
Sam Uley was born to Joshua and Allison Uley on the Quileute Indian Reservation in La Push, Washington. The stress of raising a family deemed to be too much for Sam's father, and he abandoned Sam and his mother when Sam was very young. Having to take on responsibilities that should have been his father's, Sam was very mature. His great-grandfather was Levi Uley, one of the original members of the Quileute tribe who shape-shifted into wolves. Sam had heard the legends of his tribe growing up, but he believed them to be just stories.
However, when the Cullen's, a family of vampires, move back to Forks near La Push, Sam is the first of his generation to phase into a wolf. It wasn't until some of the elder tribe members, Billy Black, Harry Clearwater, and Quil Ateara III, explain to him what has happened, that Sam understands and believes in the legends. While still learning to control his own new-found powers, two more tribal members, Jared Cameron and Paul Lahote, begin to phase. Sam takes on the role of the Alpha wolf and teaches the other boys how to use and control their powers, as well as how to adapt to their new life.
Before his change, Sam had been dating Leah Clearwater, daughter of Harry Clearwater, for nearly two years. However, when he meets her cousin, Emily Young, he imprints on her. Though Sam loves Leah and doesn't want to hurt her, he is now unconditionally bound to Emily. At first, Emily rejects Sam's advances, as she knows her cousin loves him. Eventually, Sam and Emily begin to spend more time together as she learns about everything from vampires to the Quileute legends. But when Emily and Sam get into an argument, and she says he is just like his father, Sam loses it and phases in anger. He accidentally lashes out at Emily, scarring her for life. While Emily is okay, Sam can never forgive himself for hurting her. But Emily calls him to her side while in the hospital; she has already forgiven him, knowing that it was an accident. The two fall in love and are engaged to be married. Sam does all he can to make his fiance happy.