Trader was about 56 years of age at the time of his final appearance (and, it is presumed, death); he had grizzled salt-and-pepper hair and a beard, a burly build, and a chronic cough from his radiation sickness (though he was later cured of this).
There are many people in Deathlands who bear the title "trader", but only one who used it as his name. Trader is a legend all over Deathlands - a man known for fair deals, a distinct lack of mercy, and the largest and most powerful convoys anywhere. Many tried to jack his vehicles and goods, but only one ever succeeded in 25 years. Trader was infamous for destroying entire villes if someone double-crossed him, attacked him, or tried to steal from him; he said it sent a message to anyone else thinking of trying it, which probably prevented quite a few other attempts. Despite being willing to trade with anyone who had the jack, there were some things he refused to deal in: slaves, nerve gas, and similar items.
Trader was one of the few who knew the location of many predark stockpiles; one of his first finds, aided by Marsh Folsom, was a bunch of military vehicles and fuel in the Appalachian Mountains, which became his main base and the core of his trading convoys.
Trader's career came to an end on a run to Mocsin, Montana, when Cort Strasser dropped nerve gas on his convoy, killing nearly everyone. Only War Wag One, his main vehicle, was spared, since he was in it and Strasser needed him to disable the booby traps on the other vehicles. Ryan and a group of other people freed him and took the wag up to The Darks; when they stopped for the night one night, an old Indian shaman appeared and Trader quietly left the others behind to join the man (Pilgrimage to Hell).
Nothing was heard about him after that, and it was assumed he'd gone off to die, but then rumors began to circulate. Abe believed Trader was still alive, so after leaving the companions in Chicago, he followed the rumours north and west to Seattle, eventually finding his old boss. They sent a message to Ryan (Trader Redux), who came with JB to meet them. They rejoined and travelled together for awhile, but it soon became apparent that there was only room for one leader in the group - Trader was trying to take over, but it was Ryan's position. Finally Trader decided it was time to part ways; the last the companions saw of him, he and Abe were surrounded by a band of men and muties led by Straub (Shadowfall). When the companions met Straub again, he taunted them by saying he knew of their friends' final fate, but he refused to tell them before he was killed (Circle Thrice).
He carried a battered Armalite Rifle, often using it as a crutch.