Nothing much is known of Clay before he met Montgomery Jakobs, although he mentions in some dialogue that he was named "Clay" by his mother due to him being "dumber than dirt", to which Clay would always ask why she didn't just call him "Dirt".
Clay used to be an intergalactic smuggler until he was caught by Montgomery Jakobs, CEO of the Jakobs corporation, while scrounging for items with his buddy Archimedes. When Montgomery spared Clay's life instead of sending him to The Anvil, Clay abandoned his smuggling clan and allied himself with the Jakobs family.
His loyalty to anyone affiliated to the Jakobs corporation is sincere, as he declined a cash offer from Aurelia to betray the Vault Hunter. In his words, he is not into protecting the Jakobs corporation for the money, as they were the closest thing to family he had.
During The Guns of Reliance, Wainwright instructs the Vault Hunters to meet Clay, who can help them to retake Eden-6 from the COV. Clay, along with several fighters, helps in liberating the town of Reliance and has the Vault Hunters rescue a gunsmith for him. In Going Rogue, Clay gives the Vault Hunters the Rogue-Sight for them to locate his crew. After discovering the key fragment stolen, he walks them through Ambermire to find the fragment via ECHO calls, leading them to Archimedes, of which they kill and obtain the second fragment from.
- Despite his hate of the COV, he seems to be slightly impressed with the Calypso Twins's ability to command an entire army of Psycho followers, due to most companies wanting the same amount of manpower, but end up treating Psychos like ""malcontents and air breathers like the galaxy's dead skin".