Son of M'Rel, and leader of the Klingon High Council following the death of K'mpec in 2367.
Prior to his ascent to power, Gowron was a political outsider who often challenged the High Council.
Following the death of K'mpec, Gowron was one of two contenders for the post of council leader. With the elimination of Duras, Gowron won the position. (Reunion [TNG])
Gowron was installed as council leader in a ceremony attended by Jean-Luc Picard, who had served as Arbiter of Succession. Gowron's leadership was quickly challenged by Lursa and B'Etor, surviving members of the Duras family who sought to install Duras's illegitimate son, Toral, as council leader.
The Duras bid was supported by Romulan interests seeking to gain control over the Klingon Empire. The challenge divided the council and plunged the Empire into civil war in early 2368. Gowron emerged victorious, in part because he agreed to restore rightful honor to the Mogh family in exchange for military support by Worf and Kurn. (Redemption, Parts I and II [TNG])
Within a few months, Gowron found it politically disadvantageous to admit to the Federation's support during his Rite of Succession and the subsequent civil war. Official government accounts of these events therefore omitted references to Federation involvement. (Unification, Part I [TNG])
Gowron reacted strongly to the supposed return of Kahless the Unforgettable in 2369, correctly surmising that the new Kahless was part of a political effort to discredit him. Gowron was further convinced that Kahless would once again plunge the Empire into civil war. At Worf's urging, Gowron later agreed to support Kahless in the ceremonial role of Emperor. This would allow Kahless to be the spiritual leader of the people, while the governmental power would remain with Gowron and the High Council. (Rightful Heir [TNG])