He is first mentioned in Al Taliaferro's comic strip, when it's said that his sons put a firecracker under his seat, and they have to stay with their uncle Donald until he recovers.
His first physical appearance is in Mark Worden's illustrated version of Carl Barks' 1950s Duck Family Tree. His design was probably based upon a Duck surfer with human ears from the Barks story "Double Masquerade".
Don Rosa's Duck Family tree also included the father of Donald's nephews, but his name and face are obscured by a passing bird, a joke about the fact of the kids' parents never appearing in the stories. A convention poster Rosa made of the tree has Huey, Dewey and Louie's father's face shown, but the name given (and the last names for Donald's nephews) is the one of whoever is given the poster. A popular misconception was that he was named "Jamie Hawkins" because of a scan of this poster shown in the internet, but this was just the name of the poster owner.