Styled Wenyuan; gained fame when serving Cao Cao and fought at the battle of Hefei with Li Dian and Yue Jing. Commanded 800 men and defeated the 100,000 men of Sun Quan while defending the city. Zhang Liao died of natural causes in the year AD 222 in Jiangdu County. Zhang Liao was known as a brave and intelligent commander, during the battle between Lü Bu and Cao Cao, Guan Yu ordered his brother Zhang Fei to beware of him and said Zhang Liao's battle skill equal to either one of Guan or Zhang. His personal friends included Guan Yu, Xu Huang, Xiahou Dun and Lord Cao Cao himself.
Had served Lu Bu, previously serving Ding Yuan and Dong Zhou. In the Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms (San Guo Zhi), he is noted as leader of the "Five Wei Generals", of whom Chen Shou calls the "backbone of Wei". The others are Zhang He, Xu Huang, Yue Jin, and Yu Jin.