Frederick Foswell was born in Queens, New York. He was one of Spider-Man's first opponents. A reporter for the Daily Bugle, he led a double life behind a mask as The Big Man, head of New York's crime and the boss of the notorious Enforcers. Although he did not possess any actual superpowers, he was a slippery opponent. However, Spider-Man eventually revealed his identity and brought him in.
After Foswell was released from prison, J. Jonah Jameson rehired him, an act of trust which immediately earned Foswell's gratitude. When another masked crime lord called the Crime-Master arose, working in collusion with the Green Goblin, Spider-Man suspected Foswell, but it turned out to be someone else. However, Foswell had indeed been wearing a mask - a patch-eyed face that he used as an alter ego, Patch. Acting as a stool-pigeon, he tipped off the police to planned crimes while getting scoops.
At one point, Foswell actually discovered Spider-Man's secret identity, but Spider-Man was warned by his spider-sense and managed to trick Foswell into believing that he wasn't Peter Parker. Parker and Foswell occasionally worked together, with Peter tipping off Foswell as Spider-Man before a major bust and then taking pictures to go with Foswell's stories.
When Spider-Man gave up the costume in Amazing Spider-Man #50, the Kingpin entered and took over New York's underworld. Foswell, believing that he could take over from the Kingpin, returned to crime, but the Kingpin outwitted him, instead enlisting him as a lieutenant. When the Kingpin kidnapped Jameson because of his editorials on the new crime wave, Spider-Man returned and tried to rescue him, but was beaten by the Kingpin. The Kingpin tried to kill both Jameson and Spider-Man by drowning them, but Spider-Man created an air bubble that kept them both alive.
The attempted murder of Jameson turned Foswell against the Kingpin, who, sensing this, tried to kill him. However, Spider-Man entered and stopped him just in time. Foswell ran into the basement of the Kingpin's building to try and help Jameson. When he found Jameson, Foswell protected him from the thugs trying to kill him, and took a bullet meant for Jameson. The Kingpin escaped, and Foswell died a hero, having repaid his debt to Jameson. For this, Jameson memoralized him as a hero in the Daily Bugle.