The Falcon (Sam "Snap" Wilson) first appeared in Captain America Vol. 1, #117 (Sept. 1969). Created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Gene Colan, the Falcon most frequently works with Captain America, and also later became a member of the superhero team the Avengers.
The Falcon debuted nearly three years before Luke Cage, Marvel's first African-American solo series superhero. The Falcon is also the first superhero of African descent not to have the word "black" as part of his superhero name, preceding the John Stewart/ Green Lantern by over two years. Although the Falcon traded in his original green outfit and adopted his more familiar red & white costume at the onset of the 70’s, it wasn’t until Captain America # 170 (February 1974) when the Black Panther and his Wakandan scientists created artificial wings for the Falcon, providing him with the power of flight, that Sam Wilson really lived up to his avian name.
Trivia: The Falcon's deceased nephew Jim Wilson, was the Incredible Hulk's sometime-sidekick and one of the first openly HIV-positive comic-book characters.