When I was about 10 or 11, Steven Grover, the teenage son of one of my mum's best friends, introduced me to Dungeons & Dragons. Mum's friend was a headteacher and Steve was MENSA-smart and well-read. He had previously introduced me to the works of Tolkien (namely, The Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings) and from there it was an easy segue into Dungeons & Dragons.
Being the UK in the late '70s, it was the blue-covered Eric Holmes' edited edition of Dungeons & Dragons we played.
The first character I made at home was a fighter called Sinbad (he killed - some say 'murdered' - a couple of dwarves in a drunken tavern brawl, changed his name to Bassin and fled to sea), but the earliest I still have any record of is Gordok Mantor, the first character that I used for a game outside my own home (or Gublin's house), back in either late 1978 or early 1979.
Gordok was created for use at The Dark Tower - Tunbridge Wells' first (and only) role-playing game shop and club. Although I'd been taught the basics of Dungeons & Dragons before I ventured into The Dark Tower, that was the haven of geekiness that really fuelled my early love of this hobby.