Apollo was the bastard son of Zeus and the goddess Leto; his mother gave birth to him and his sister Artemis on the island of Delos after being pursued by a monstrous serpent named Python that had been sent by jealous Hera to plague her. When Apollo grew up, he killed the snake and established the sacred temple of Delphi on the site of his victory.
After killing the serpent there was a trial against Apollo, as he had killed one of Gaia's children. Despite Gaia's request, Zeus wouldn't send Apollo to Tartarus. Instead, he was to serve as a slave for nine years in the realm of mortal men. After receiving rituals of purification and rejoining Olympian gods, he had to protect his mother Leto once again from wrath of Hera, this time killing a giant named Tityos.
Apollo's symbols were the lyre: an ancient, string instrument, the raven and the laurel wreath. Warding off evil, healing and protecting the young are associated with Apollo.
When Apollo found the centaur Chiron who had been abandoned by his mother, he raised the centaur and taught him in every field of his personal knowledge. These teaching were complimented by Artemis.
Apollo had many lovers throughout Greek myth, most notably Daphne, a nymph who transformed herself into a laurel tree; he later made the laurel his sacred plant in her honor, and Cassandra, a Trojan princess who he gave the gift of prophecy; when she rejected him, he cursed her, making her visions disturbing; these came true, but nobody believed her, leading to Troy's destruction.