One of the three sons of Cronus and Rhea, Hades is the lord of the underworld. He is not to be confused with the devilish, Disney version. Hades was not considered to be a bad god; he actually performed a very useful function in separating the dead from the living. Hades is only the lord of the underworld because he lost a dice game (they actually used sheep's knuckles) to his brothers Zeus and Poseidon.
His wife is Persephone, who he first obtained by abducting her from the earth. Later, she seems to have accepted her role as queen of the underworld.
On several occasions, Hades acts very benevolently towards men. He allows both Heracles and Orpheus to enter the underworld. Later, he was wounded by Heracles in a battle.
Because he lives in the underworld, Hades is also associated with wealth (gold and other precious metals come from underground). He is often referred to by the Greeks as Pluton, a god of wealth. The Romans most often associated Hades with Pluto, their own god of wealth.