Destiny is portrayed as a tall figure, obscured within a purple or brown robe and cowl. He reads from a large book, originally known as the Cosmic Log, chained to his right wrist, which contains all past, present, and future events. He does not leave footprints, nor does he cast a shadow. Destiny is blind, although this doesn't appear to hinder him and it has been stated that, opposed to simply being blind, Destiny '...sees everything.' He is always calm, detached, and somber even in extreme situations.
Like Lucien, Cain and Abel and some other Sandman characters, Destiny first appeared as host of a 1970s DC horror comic, Weird Mystery Tales. There was, of course, no mention of his family, though a more traditional version of Death did appear in it. In his earliest appearances, he was less of a storyteller than an introducer, as most of his stories were actually told by Jack Kirby's Dr. E. Leopold Maas, an investigator of paranormal phenomena.
Destiny began appearing in some of the stories beginning in issue #10 (though he said that as all the stories he tells deal with destiny, he is in all of them, as well). By issue #15, Eve had taken over the series, and had been wheedling in since early in the run. Destiny now hosted a new title, Secrets of Haunted House, which was initially hosted by all four characters. The other hosts regarded him as the dullest storyteller, and as the hosts supposedly controlled the letters pages (responses were written in-character), that attitude was generally reflected there as well. For his birthday, Cain, Abel, and Eve gave him a sampler that said "If you're so smart, why don't you have your own book?" although, being blind, he would be unable to read it. Later, he was said to be the son of a "Mrs. Emma Destiny," but as this was in a letters column, it may have been intended as a spoof. Destiny left the series after issue #39, after which it was hosted by Abel. (House of Secrets had been canceled, and the House was said to have been torn down.)
Destiny met Superman in Superman #352, preventing Superman from helping people in order to break a forming destiny of Metropolis becoming dependent upon him, and met the New Teen Titans on several occasions, all of these written by Wolfman.
According to Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #6 (1985), Destiny is "the one being who has been able to resist Zeus' unlimited powers." It refers to the Cosmic Log as Book of Souls. It reports "Cosmic Observer" as his occupation and "inapplicable" for the field, "Known Relatives."