Jed Walker, also known as Jed Paulson, is the son of Burt Paulsen and Miranda Walker and the brother of Rose Walker.
After his parents' separation, Jed's father, Burt, received custody of Jed. Burt later died, and Jed went to live with his biological grandfather Ezra on Dolphin Island. The relationship was an ordinary and large one, although, by this time, Jed had become more withdrawn and sullen after so many repeated separations from his family, an emotional crisis that only worsened when his grandfather also dies.
When the state was unable to find any of his other relatives, Jed was placed in foster care. He was taken in by an older couple, whom he was forced to refer to as his aunt and uncle, and went to live in their isolated rural farmhouse. However, the couple was extremely abusive, having only taken in a foster child to receive welfare. Jed was frequently starved and physically abused. When he tried to escape, the couple, fearful of losing their income, locked him a bare basement with no light, no bathroom facilities, and only a thin blanket on the stone floor for his bed.
In this dark, nightmarish prison, Jed's only escape was sleep. In dreams, he was the main character of a brightly-colored comic book. The recurrent cast of characters included two superheroes, Lyta Hall and Hector Hall (calling himself "The Sandman"), who treated him kindly and took him on magical adventures. Unknown to Jed, Lyta, or Hector, what they each believed to be a very long, sequential dream was, in fact, a pocket dimension of the Dreaming, which Hector's "assistants," Brute and Glob, had secretly isolated during the real Sandman's absence. Glob and Brute were able to harness the power of Jed's connection to Unity Kincaid, the Dream Vortex, and planned to turn this pocket realm into their own personal dream kingdom. However, the real Sandman had since escaped his captivity and, in the course of restoring order to his domain, discovered the secret dream-realm. The Sandman destroyed the realm, banished Brute and Glob, and returned Lyta and Jed to their rightful places in the waking world. The dream battle also destroyed the farmhouse, freeing Jed and killing his abusive foster parents.
Now on his own, Jed attempted to reunite with his family and reached out to his sister Rose. The two agreed to meet, but Jed was instead captured by the nightmare known as the Corinthian, who planned to murder him horribly before a crowd at a serial killer convention. The Sandman, however, still in search of his lost dreams, discovered the Corinthian and unmade him before Jed could be harmed. Jed was rescued by Fiddler's Green (in the form of Gilbert) and Rose Walker. Afterward, he reunited with his mother and presumably remained with her, gradually returning to a somewhat normal life.
- Jed was first introduced in vol. 1 of the 1974–1976 DC Comics series The Sandman during its Earth-One era. His inclusion following the series had these events retconned, where the seemingly heroic adventures Jed embarked on with the titular hero were revealed to be set in Jed's mind created by Brute and Glob.