Edward Elric Profile
Edward Elric is the main protagonist of the series. His military codename is The Fullmetal Alchemist, or simply Fullmetal.
Edward Elric's story begins in February 1910, when he and Alphonse Elric, his younger brother, attempt to resurrect their dead mother by a forbidden act of alchemy: human transmutation. The process requires the correct proportion of elements that constitute a human body, (according to the dialogs this includes 35 liters of water, 20 kilograms of carbon, 4 liters of ammonia, 1.5 kilograms of lime, 800 grams of phosphorus, 250 grams of sodium, 100 grams of saltpeter, 80 grams of sulfur, 7.5 grams of fluorine, 5 grams of iron, 3 grams of silicon, and trace amounts of fifteen other elements) as well as the more metaphysical element of a human soul which is rendered by Ed and Al through a drop of one another's blood, the same blood as that of Trisha Elric.
The attempt backfires, resulting in Al losing his body and Ed his left leg, as well as bringing to life an inhuman monster. In order to save Al's soul, Ed sacrifices his right arm to bind Al's soul to a nearby suit of armor using knowledge he attained from this glimpse into the Gate of Truth. Unbeknownst to Ed at the time, he also gains the rare ability to perform transmutations without a circle. In order to regain what they had lost, Ed and Al decide to search for the legendary Philosopher's Stone, which allows an alchemist to perform transmutations that violate the Law of Equivalent Exchange (which states that in order to gain, something of equal value must be lost). To gain access to the vast amount of research and information on alchemy available only to State Alchemists, Ed and Al decide to take the notoriously difficult State Alchemist entrance exam.
However, because the brothers feared that their secret (that they had performed forbidden alchemy) would be exposed during the physical phase of the exam if Al were to take it, they decided that only Ed should take the test alone. Ed easily passes, and, at the age of 12, becomes the youngest State Alchemist that the State has ever certified. Had Al not been forced to drop from the Exam due to his "condition" and passed it, he might have been the youngest State Alchemist ever certified - at age 11 - instead of his brother, Ed. He did finish the written portion of the exam, while Ed was unable to do so.
After passing the alchemy exam, Edward and Alphonse set out to look for the Philosopher's Stone. Since the Stone allows the owner to bypass the laws of equivalent exchange, Ed and Al believe that locating the stone will enable them to regain what they have lost in their failed attempt to resurrect their mother. In an effort to help the Elric Brothers in this quest, Mustang (Ed's superior officer) issues orders to Edward to conduct an alchemic investigation into the Philosophers Stone, allowing Ed to use his position in the military to legitimately search for the stone without raising suspicion among other officers in the military.
The exact date of Ed's birthday is a subject of much speculation. The anime gave Edward a date of birth, but Arakawa specified that she avoids giving birthdates to her characters because it limits what she can do with the story. She mentioned that she thought of Edward being born in the winter, but that her perception of winter was skewed because, in her birthplace, wintry weather would sometimes last nearly six months, though this could be construed as a joke by the writer since in all of the flashback scenes a true winter has been shown in succession with the other seasons.
Additionally, Edward's birthday of February 3rd in the anime was to coincide with the birth of Elicia Hughes, when, in the manga, they don't necessarily have the same birthday. It is generally accepted that Ed's birthday falls between January and February 1899, but it has occasionally been implied that his birthday might be in 1905, as is the case in one of the OVA's, in which Ed was shown to be 100 years old in 2005, making his birthday sometime in 1904 or 1905. Though, in the original anime, when Ed passed through the gate to the world on the other side (our world around WWI), it mentioned that the year was 1917, making it three years ahead of Amestris in Ed's world.